A perfect harvest at Hugh Pulham Farms

Tony Pulham has had an exceptional harvest at Hugh Pulham Farms, Stowmarket, Suffolk, with a perfect growing season resulting in superb yields all round.

“So far we’ve had a very successful harvest,” he said. “Winter barley has been good; oilseed rape was exceptional, and wheats are bordering on obscene in places – I don’t think we’ll see anything like it again in my lifetime.”

Glacier, Cassia and Florentine winter barley had averaged 9.1t/ha, while Avatar and PR46W21 oilseed rape had managed 4.84t/ha.

“We’ve also got some Cabernet but that hasn’t been collected yet so I haven’t got a weighbridge ticket for that,” said Mr Pulham.

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Kielder had topped the winter wheat league table so far, yielding over 11t/ha, but Leeds; grown as seed, and Santiago – were not far behind at 11t/ha.

“November-drilled Conqueror after sugar beet yielded almost 9.9t/ha, while a December-drilled field did 9.1t/ha, when we’d normally expect 7.4t/ha,” he added.

“The wheats have always looked on target after the mild autumn and winter. We’ve used four to five fungicides and seen no disease at all.”

The standing crops also looked good, but after 13mm of rain yesterday (6 August), the combine was unlikely to be out again today.

“It’s been a perfect season and a lot of other people are saying the same in this area,” said Mr Pulham. “We’ve just been very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time – no doubt next year will be entirely different again.”