10 September 2001
‘A chalk land year ’

WILTSHIRE Grains Nick Brown backs up trends during harvest by saying that yields are better on Chalk soils.

With harvest virtually finished, the store is almost full. Wheat and peas are said to be 95% complete, 75% of beans and 50% of spring oilseed rape.

“Its not been a bad harvest, with most farmers reasonably happy, with one or two disasters only.”

Wheat yields on chalk land have been average and above. “The quality has been very good. The bushel has been the biggest disaster, but its only probably the millers being fussy.

“They will take most of it. The bushel will also improve in store with cleaning and drying.”

“The Hagbergs have been OK. The only problem has been in spring wheat which has picked up some Ergot.”

The quality of spring barley has now deteriorated. “There are skins and slits now, but 80% of the crop was fine and only the last 20% has gone.”

With only part of the beans harvest completed he says yields are probably down. “A lot of combines are losing the lowest pods on the beans as they are so close to the ground.”

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