20% left to do in Somerset

Archie Montgomery was rained off again last night (8 September) at Manor Farm, North Cadbury, Somerset, leaving just 1.2ha (3 acres) of wheat to finish off.

“The land is just saturated – harvest is about 80% complete around here so there’s a lot still to cut,” he said. “What’s left is still salvageable, except that it is starting to grow out.”

Yields had been excellent, with wheat making almost 10t/ha (4t/acre), and winter barley breaking farm records at 10t/ha (4t/acre).

“It’s certainly the best barley we’ve ever grown, by 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre).”

Oilseed rape had also done well at over 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre). But the difficulty was now getting next year’s crops in, as well as lifting potatoes, said Mr Montgomery.

“Anything we are doing on our soils now is impacting on next year’s yields.” To remove compaction he was ploughing land destined for rape, instead of more usual direct drilling.

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Solstice
Yield: <10t/ha (4t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Spectrum
Yield: 10t/ha (4t/acre)

Variety: Retriever
Yield: 9.4t/ha (3.8t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Castille and Astrid
Area: 80ha (200 acres)
Yield: >3.7t.ha (1.5t/acre)


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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


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