30 July 2001
Spring barley starts in Hampshire

STEPHEN HORN started combining Optic spring barley yesterday, at Droxford near Southampton.

The crop, which was drilled in January, has yielded below average.

“Its a disappointing yield. It was on light land which seemed to dry out, but the quality is good.” 15ha (36 acres) have been combined.

It yielded 6.3t/ha (2.6t/acre), average yields about 7.3t/ha (2.9t/acre). The nitrogen is 1.5%; it has a specific weight of 68kg/hl, with 2% screenings and 95% retention over a 2.5mm screen.

“I was not expecting great things from that field. The March-drilled crops should show up better.”

Oilseed rape was finished two days ago; 94ha (233 acres) of Escort, Fortress and Madrigal. The yields range from 4-4.3t/ha (1.6-1.75t/acre).

The 10-year average for the farm is 3.6t/ha (1.45t/acre). He explains the high yields from perfect conditions during flowering and podding.

There was also trouble that the moisture was too low, and they had to revert to combining at night and early morning, “A very strange feeling not combining during a hot, sunny day!” The moisture was 7.5% at night and under 5% during the day.


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