Almost finished at Lenham

Andy Barr is almost 90% through harvest at East Lenham Farm, Maidstone, Kent, having finished the wheat in a fortunate run of dry weather.

“We have been pretty lucky,” he said. “We had a good trot of two and half weeks of dry weather, so have made good progress, although I realise we’ve had it a lot better than some.”

Protein and Hagbergs had been good, but bushel weights were all over the place, with Scout at 72-77kg/hl, Viscount 70-74kg/hl and Invicta at 65-70kg/hl.

“Yields will be average to mediocre, but not disastrous. Some of the better fields were yielding terribly, and some of the worst fields have done better than they have ever done,” said Mr Barr.

“We’ve cut more dry wheat this year than for the past three years, but there are some pretty depressing reports in the area, and quite a lot still to cut.”

Although at the start of August he had been scratching around for something to cut, everything had come ready at once, which made for some busy days’ combining.

Oilseed rape had yielded 3.5t/ha compared to the usual 4t/ha, with Expower letting the side down at 2.9t/ha against PR46W21 and Rhino at 3.9t/ha.

“Expower topped the NIAB trials last year, but it’s been terrible this year,” said Mr Barr. “That said, it’s difficult to draw much out of it, because we’ve had two such contrasting years.”

Cassia winter barley yielded 2t/ha better than last year, at 7t/ha, which wasn’t bad for continuous barley on light sand, he added.

Spring barley was also underway and starting to look a bit weathered. “Yields probably won’t be too bad, but I am concerned about the quality.

“Last year we had a real nightmare in the drought, so I guess it’s swings and roundabouts.”

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