15 August 2001
About to start on wheat

AFTER finishing winter barley and winter oats, Gary Speirs expected to start Malacca wheat on Wednesday afternoon (15 August). He farms at Pepperstock, near Luton.

Wheat is likely to be varied. “400 acres got drilled in good conditions. But the other 400 acres was quite a struggle. I am not bracing myself for wonderful yields.”

He is finishing some late-drilled (October) Regina winter barley. It has yielded 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), which is below the 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) average for the farm. It is being combined at 14% moisture. “We have waited a while until the rain has dried up. But I would rather avoid drying costs.”

Winter oats variety Gerald has yielded 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), which is below the expected 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) average.

Oilseed rape is finished and he describes it as a disaster. Apex and Escort yielded under 2.5t/ha (1t/acre). “Wed normally expect 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre),” he says. “It was drilled on heavy land and lay waterlogged for much of the winter. Root development was poor and there was also some slug damage.”


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