8 August 2001
Harvest 2001: Mixed verdict on rape

By Tom Allen-Stevens

Concerns over pod set in Gemini have resurfaced following news of one Midlands grower with very disappointing yields.

Robert Naylor, who farms with his sons at Uffington near Stamford, averaged 1.5t/ha (0.6t/acre) with the crop – 1t/ha below other variety averages on the farm.

“It looked a lovely crop, but there was nothing there,” he told FARMERS WEEKLY on Wednesday (7 August).

“It also varied. The combine monitor changed from 0.3t/ha to 3t/ha in different places.”

East Anglian growers meanwhile have bucked the trend of disappointing rape yields.

John Steel, who farms with his brother at Hamerton near Huntingdon, has had encouraging yields of Apex on heavy land.

“The seeds were smaller than normal, but in general it was not too bad,” he said.

And Madrigal yielded 4t/ha (1.6t/acre) for Charles Mathieson, partner in W A Howes and Son farm at Norton, near Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk.

Barley yields have been disappointing northern growers. Late growth has also put green grains into the sample.

The first Claire has come off in the West with a good result for Worcestershire grower Andrew Symonds.

But weather continues to hamper efforts to get on – an inch of rain is reported to have fallen in 24 hours in Middlesborough.

The unsettled conditions remain but will begin to dry up, according to the Met Office, with sunshine towards the weekend.

  • Harvest Latest comes to you as part of the FARMERS WEEKLY and FWi exclusive harvest coverage