17 August 2001
Giving up on Hereward?

MARTIN KINCH, farming with his son Philip in Oxfordshire, is worried about the quality of the Hereward he has now finished, bar 4ha.

“We dried it once and it started sweating, so weve had to dry it again. Ive never had to do that before. I wonder whether it was truly fit.” The moisture averaged 18%.

The fear of sprouting meant he had to harvest the crop, but worries whether it will meet the grade for the lucrative Warburton contract through Centaur Grain.

It has yielded around 7.0t/ha, slightly lower than he had hoped, but to be expected on the light greensand and gravel soils near Faringdon.

The last field has been sprayed off with glyphosate, but he doubts it will get a premium. “Its already growing out. Ive known this at the end of harvest on feed wheats, but not at the beginning on prime quality wheats.”

Malacca, grown for the first time, is doing much better, yielding nearly 10t/ha off a field which usually yields around 6.5t/ha, with a good-looking sample.

“Im wondering whether Hereward is worth the effort. You lose it all if it doesnt make the grade. At least with Malacca you still have the yield.”


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