Archive Article: 1995/08/18 - Farmers Weekly

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

Judging commences at the annual show and sale of Devon and Cornwall Longwools at Liskeard. The rams were judged by society sales secretary, Michael Tancock, who chose a hogg ram from T W Strout & Sons of Launceston as his champion. But top price of the day was 500gns for the "best woolled" ram and reserve champion from Melvyn Britton of Collumpton. "Lincoln Longwools may be nice but I prefer the Devon and Cornwall, though I could not pretend to be impartial," said auctioneer, John Wakeham. (Kivells.)

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

SCOTTISH potato yields will fall by about 20% because of the drought, warns Dr Simon Bowen of the Scottish Agricultural College. Only 30% of potatoes in Scotland are irrigated compared with 60% in England. Crops which should be bulking up at more than 0.5t/ha (0.2t/acre) every day are dying or not growing, he said. He advised allowing crops to die back naturally rather than spraying with desiccants.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

Sussex farmer Philip Luckin has beaten off stiff opposition to win the prestigious Tractor Driver of the Year Competition. Mr Luckin, who runs a 324ha (800-acre) farm near Horsham, received a cheque for £750 and a trophy at Silsoe Research Institute this week.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995


Top for energy

The stubble turnip variety Vollenda recorded a dry matter yield of 7.6t/ha (3.1t/acre) dry matter in a Kingshay Farming Trust trial.

That was 109% of the average of the six stubble turnip varieties assessed in the project. Vollenda produced 13% more milk and 13.5% more energy than the average variety.

The trial found stubble turnips would provide 74-86t/ha (30-35t/acre) fresh matter at 10% dry matter (see Livestock, Aug 11, p36).

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

John Page, farm manager at Edenhall Estates near Penrith, shows off his champion Bleu du Maine, Edenhall Protector, at the breed societys recent show and sale at Carlisle. The ram lamb, which stood third at the Royal Show, claimed joint top price of 1200gns to E J Barton, Bristol.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

MUCH of the combining finished earlier this week, with the rest set to be cleared by today (Friday). Very little needed drying.

In Somerset barometer grower Jeremy Walker cut linseed for seed on Monday at 7.5% moisture. Most was not desiccated and yielded 2t/ha (16cwt/acre). A "nice, bright" sample suggests good germination.

Spring oilseed rape was ready to cut this week, making an early end to an intensive campaign. Contract work included triticale nearly 300m (1,000ft) up in the Quantocks, which gave a "reasonable" yield considering the site, no fungicide and low N.

The South Hams region of Devon is recording "excellent" cereal yields. Three consecutive very wet weekends in late May/early June probably helped, says ADAS consultant Bill Butler.

"Ive had numerous reports of 3.75-4t/acre of wheat and some good spring barleys." West Devon has also done well, he adds.

At St Issey, near Padstow, Cornwall, Peter Roberts and family finished early, but with mixed results. One field of winter wheat did 7.7t/ha (3.0t/acre) plus 50 round bales/ha of straw (20/acre). But spring wheat had less than 5cm (2in) of rain since drilling and produced very pinched grain and a "modest" yield.

Gerald winter oats have disappointed, but an oat/barley mix yielded "a ton an acre more than oats alone". Straw yields are almost double last year.

Farmer/contractor John Moss in south-east Cornwall expects to finish this weekend, apart from some linseed. Wheats have varied according to site – coastal crops averaging 0.6-1.2t/ha (0.25-0.5t/acre) below the 7.5t/ha (3t/acre) achieved further inland.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

HARVEST continues at breakneck speed and earlier than most can remember.

In the north, Allan Whiteford has cut a third of his spring barley at 5.6-6.2t/ha (2.25-2.5t/acre) in Easter Ross.

"The yields are not setting records but quality is outstanding, with the lowest ever nitrogen levels at 1.3-1.4% and negligible screenings." Moisture averages 15-16% with some reporting 12 and 13%.

Barometer grower Willie Porter reckons there has never been a drier year in his part of Angus, near the coast, at Arbroath. "Im combining spring barley at 15% and Ive never done that before."

He reckons crops on light land are yielding 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre) with 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) more on heavier, moisture retentive land.

In Aberdeenshire, some have started spring barley. But NFU cereals chairman David Jack is still waiting. "The spring crops are looking very well and all set to follow good results for winter barley and rape. There is also plenty of straw, giving livestock producers a chance to replenish stock. Current prices are around £5.25 for a big round bale."

In the Borders, John Seed at Duns has cleared spring barley and winter oats. "Everyone is concentrating on the harvest with grain ripening so quickly. One of these days well have to stop and think about marketing," he says .

Earlier this week he drilled 100ha (250 acres) of winter rape.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

CEREAL harvest is "getting into top gear" in the province, reports barometer grower Brian Hammond who expected to tackle his first 16ha (40 acres) of Riband wheat midweek.

It could have been taken earlier, but with a reasonable forecast he held off to avoid having to dry. "Thats normally unheard of here," he comments.

Gerald winter oats, grown only for the second year turned in a "very pleasing" 7.9t/ha (3.2t/acre) at 12.8% moisture with a specific weight of 54-55kg/hl. Last years crop, similarly after set-aside, gave 1.3t/ha (0.5t/acre) less, mainly because of later sowing and a wet autumn, he believes.

Wheats in the area look well, but spring barley seems to have suffered in the dry, he adds. One apparently good nearby crop gave only 3.8t/ha (1.5t/acre). There has been no rain for a month. &#42

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

DESPITE local light showers harvest is finished on some units and well ahead of schedule on others.

Like many Vale of Glamorgan growers Tony Thomas of Pancross Farm, Cowbridge, completed his 428ha (1060 acres) cereal harvest on Sunday, a fortnight earlier than last year. "Given conditions this season, we have been generally pleased," says Mr Thomas. Hunter, Soissons, Hussar and Brigadier winter wheats averaged 8.2t/ha (3.25t/acre), 1t/ha (0.35t/acre) down on normal. But winter barley yielded over 7.5t/ha (3t/acre) and winter oats 6.3t/ha (2.5t/acre) despite being "grazed to death".

At Penmark Place, Barry, South Glamorgan, father and son Andrew and Julian Radcliffe are delighted. "One field of Rialto yielded almost 11.3t/ha of grain and 9.3t/ha of sold straw," says Julian Radcliffe. "It has also been our best year for winter oilseed, which yielded 4.02t/ha."

Barometer farmer Meurig Raymond is "amazed" at high specific weights at Trenewydd Fawr, Croesgoch, Dyfed. "We have taken 6.4t/acres of Chariot spring barley at 69-70kg/hl, compared with 65-66 normally. Winter wheat is coming off at 80kg/hl on many farms in the area."

A shower delayed Beaver and Brigadier cutting by 24 hours. First samples weighed in at 7.54 and 10.05t/ha (3 and 4t/acre) and 22% moisture, so had to be dried. But drying costs of about £8400 have been saved.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

MANY growers are finishing wheat harvesting before their normal start date. Crops have done well despite the drought but beans and linseed are expected to disappoint.

"Most wheat in Essex and Hertfordshire will be wrapped up by the weekend," says Reg Minall of Bishops Stortford-based Harlow Agricultural Merchants.

He reports "respectable" yields, at about7.4t/ha (3t/acre) and 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) on moisture-retentive land. "It has come in very dry and samples of Riband contain a lot of combine-damaged cracked grain, so screenings are high. Proteins are 11%+ with Hagbergs at least 250."

Linseed is poor with yields averaging 1.6t/ha (13cwt/acre), 0.75t/ha (6-7cwt/acre) down on normal, he says. "But the disaster crop is beans, with winters down to 1t/acre and springs to 15 cwt."

On heavy land at Hawkedon, south Suffolk Jonathan Slater finished cutting last weekend. "The biggest problem was keeping grain cool. We combined seed crops at night," he says.

His Punch winter beans had plenty of pods but small seed left yield at just 3.7t/ha (30cwt/acre).

In Cambridgeshire Paul Williams winter rape at Manor Farm, Glatton, near Peterborough, was unusually dry. "At 6.8% it was borderline for oil extraction. Some local farmers had moistures as low a 4-5%," he says.

Apex redrilled after slug damage yielded 2.8t/ha (23cwt/acre), the best for several years. Wheat was 0.5t/ha (4cwt/acre) down, at 8t/ha (3.25t/acre). "I am not holding out much hope for Mikael linseed. It did not like the drought."

Norfolk barometer grower Robin Baines has cut some triticale and is more than halfway through his wheat on light land at Wroxham Home Farms near Norwich.

"Our first piece of triticale gave 2t/acre of bold grain, which for a dry year is respectable for this land," he says. Wheats have been mixed: Mercia a disappointing 6.4t/ha (2.6t/acre) and Spark 6.7t/ha (2.7t/acre) "a lot less than we expected". Hereward was better at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). Proteins have been high at 11.5% with specific weights of 84-85kg/hl.

Cooper spring barley yielded 4.5t/ha (2t/acre) ahead of Chariot, which in turn outyielded Alexis.

On Proctors of Gosbertons siltland farm in Lincolnshire wheats yielded almost 10% better than normal at about 9.9t/ha (4t/acre), says manager Martin Barwell. Samples of Brigadier, Hussar, Riband and Beaufort look good, with bold grain. But the quality of Rialto grown for milling has been "mixed".

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

MOST wheat has been cleared apart from on high ground. Only a few spring crops remain elsewhere.

Fluctuating yields have produced a "slightly disappointing" harvest. But good quality, dry grain helps.

Yields vary "from village to village", says Ian Root at Mid-England Agriculture, Enderby, near Leicester. "They could average 2.7t/acre, but its very difficult to estimate."

Specific weights are high, reports John Sturt at Midland Shires Farmers, Worcester. "Many milling wheats are over 80kg/hl, with proteins averaging high 11s." Screenings are slightly high in some samples, he notes.

In contrast, spring barleys are yielding just 3.7-6.2t/ha (1.5-2.5t/acre). High screenings and nitrogen levels are common, "quite different" from winter varieties, says Val Phillips at Telford-based Wrekin Farmers.

Barometer grower David Brightman finished wheats last week. Dry, clean weights show Brigadier after beans yielded 9.6t/ha (3.9t/acre). Hereward, including some second wheat, hit 7.7t/ha (3.1t/acre) and second wheat Hussar 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre). "Thats better than average."

First cut, and hopefully poorest, Punch winter beans produced just 3t/ha (1.21t/acre) of small, pea-sized seeds, 40% down on last year despite plenty of pods.

At Westwood Farm, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, grower David Craig expects a weekend finish to his mixed harvest, 10 days early. "Yields are all over the place, though quality looks good. We should average 3.5t/acre, half a ton down on last year."

Unlike Mr Craig, Richard Beldam had a "very consistent" harvest. A couple of summer storms were enough to fill grain on clay loam soils.

His 567ha (1400 acres) of Brigadier, Hereward, Hussar and Riband wheat yielded 9.5-10.1t/ha (3.85-4.1t/acre), "almost exactly the same" as last year. Specific weights hovered around 78kg/hl.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

Champion steer, a Limousin cross, is paraded round the ring at the inaugural sale in the new £4m livestock auction centre at Tyne Green, Hexham. Consigned by J Smith Jackson of Hightown, Haltwhistle, near Hexham, the beast made £2100 to J Hutchinson from Derby. He also picked up the reserve champion – a Belgian Blue cross from P & B Robson, Heatherview, Waskerley – for £1450. About 1200 stores and sucklers were sold in front of a packed house, following an opening ceremony performed by Lord Plumb. (Hexham and Northern Marts).

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

MANY combines have completed almost non-stop runs. Most wheats are in, with results reinforcing views that July moisture and soil type strongly influenced outcomes.

Beans have suffered from drought with samples reportedly small, and spring rape likely to be "variable in the extreme", according to one trade source. Pea yields are reasonable to "downright disastrous" depending on soil structure and rainfall.

Berks-based barometer grower Roger Lovejoy finished his "easiest harvest in 16 years" on Sunday – two weeks ahead of normal. "We used just £300 of diesel for drying – we usually spend £2500."

Cereal output on the thin chalk is akin to last years with specific weights up 5kg/hl. But Brigadier, some as second wheat, was "0.5t/acre down", and screenings in Hussar "quite high".

Allied Grains Paul Taylor notes concave damage to ultra-dry grain has caused screenings problems elsewhere.

Peter Kirby expected to complete harvest with "pretty awful" looking spring rape at Newton Valence Farm, Alton, Hants this week. Wheat yields vary from light land Mercia at 6.8t/ha (2.7t/acre) to "our best ever" 11.4t/ha (4.6t/acre) of Avalon off heavy soil.

At about 275m (900ft) above sea-level Genesis, Riband and Soissons wheat are doing better than expected on the thin grade 3 soils at Faccombe Estates, near Andover, reports Julian Harbottle. Yields are 7.5t/ha (3t/acre) plus. Heavy rain just before the Royal Show helped keep crops going, he believes. "100 acres of Grafila peas did 30cwt/acre which is par for the course." But spring barley on dry high ground disappointed.

Deep marsh soils have "come up trumps" for Martin Boulden at Court Lodge, Aldington, Kent, with up to 10t/ha (4t/acre) of high quality Hereward after vining peas. But Soissons, on brashier land, averaged 1.3t/ha (0.5t/acre) less. First-time field beans gave a "disappointing 1t/acre".

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995


&#8226 Avoid sudden changes to the diet which should be well balanced.

&#8226 Minerals included in ration rather than as free-access.

&#8226 Comprehensive fertility records.

&#8226 Keep cow stress-free for 4-6 weeks after mating to avoid embryo loss.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995


Control plan

Suggested regulatory programme based on the Australian foot rot scheme;

&#8226 Inspectors allowed to apply quarantine for scab at any time.

&#8226 Producers introducing sheep into protected and control areas must provide a completed owner/vendor declaration. False declarations are an offence.

&#8226 Where a voluntary farmer scab eradication group has reduced scab to low levels, the group can recommend the imposition of quarantine to certain individuals to provide protection for those producers who have carried out costly eradication programmes or those who are free from scab.

&#8226 It is an offence to have scab-infected sheep at sales, although specific exemptions to allow infected sheep to be sold at designated sites not normally used for regular sheep sales or in quarantine areas of existing markets.

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

150 years ago this week potato blight

first appeared in Ireland. Earlier this year Charles Abel accompanied a Potato Marketing Board study tour to find out more about todays Irish potato industry

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Archive Article: 1995/08/18

18 August 1995

Auto lubrication of fixed plant and equipment is possible with this System 24 lubricator from Milton Keynes-based SKF. The unit, pre-filled with grease or oil, comprises a gas cell which produces hydrogen gas to control the dispensing rate of the lubricant canister. For use on bearings in fans and pumps, unit price is £21-£30.

Flow rate is adjusted with an allen key to match the lubrication level required by different bearings. Among the applications for System 24, SKF says the unit is suitable for use on bearings within fans, pumps and materials handling systems. Unit price is £21.30.

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