17 August 2001
Three weeks behind after late drilling

NORTH Devon farmer Mark Stevens, at Merton near Great Torrington, says harvest is three weeks late. They are combining winter oats at the moment and expect to be into wheat next week.

His 12ha (30 acres) of Jalna winter oats have yielded about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). This is a normal average for the farm.

The rest of harvest is varied. 5ha (12 acres) of winter barley yielded a poor 5t/ha (2t/acre). “We were meant to drill 50 acres (20ha), but the weather did not allow us to.” Poor weather on heavy clay loam made drilling conditions poor in the autumn.

“Most of the crops were planted four months late. This has made us three weeks late now.”

Claire and Savannah wheat is being grown for feed. He says the early drilled crops are ready and look very well.

He is more unsure of the crop drilled in January. Commenting on the recent rain, “I dont think the crops have any damage yet, although it is getting to the point that we do not need any more.”


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