Duncan Whiteman is pleased to have finished harvest at Arlescott Farm, Telford, Shropshire, but has too many empty grain bins for his liking.
“It’s all over, thank goodness, and I think it’s best forgotten,” he said. “Our wheat was a good 2.5t/ha lower than normal – but at close to 7.4t/ha it’s better than some areas.”
Bushel weights had been usable so far, with Solstice at about 70kg/hl. “Relay second wheat was the best looking sample, while Diego was shrivelled up like grains of rice.
“It’s probably cost us £60,000 – in May it was looking like it could be the best harvest we’ve ever had, but I think it’s turned out to be the worst.
“At least most of it came in dry so drying costs haven’t been too bad.”
Cubic oilseed rape yielded less than 2.5t/ha, but was sold for a good price, said Mr Whiteman. “As long as the prices stay up we’ll be solvent.”
Mascani winter oats proved to be the most profitable crop of the year – again. “They yielded 6.8t/ha and were sold at £190/t, which is really good.”
Mr Whiteman had hoped to be ploughing today (21 September), but had stopped following torrential rain.
“The ground is horrible – it’s like wet plasticine. It’s been squished by the rain and then squished by the machinery, and it needs to dry out for a few days because it’s just turning over in slabs.”
However, the 45ha of PR46W21 rapeseed was drilled and through. “We’re reasonably up to date. But there’s still quite a bit to combine in the area.
“I was speaking to a contractor yesterday who has 28ha of wheat left to cut and 200ha of baling to do. And our neighbours have still got 80-120ha to finish. But most folks are done.”