Almost finished at Manor Farm

Richard Payne has almost finished harvest at Manor Farm, Heathfield, Somerset, with just two fields of spring rapeseed left to cut.

“It’s certainly been better than last year,” he said. “Although it is a bit strange drilling oilseed rape before we’ve finished cutting it.”

Wheat, which Mr Payne finished combining about two weeks ago, averaged around 8.9t/ha, slightly below the 10-year average of 9.4t/ha.

“Diego was the best – we had one field that almost reached 9.9t/ha.”

Relay and Horatio suffered a bit in the dry spring, and had a lot of bare patches, he added. “But yields were better than I’d anticipated in March.”

Winter oilseed rape averaged 4.2t/ha. “Where it was good, it was very good – but I had some fields next to the River Tone that had swans swimming on them on three occasions.”

Spring oilseed rape was a great success, yielding 4t/ha, having replaced the lost winter rape fields.

Westminster spring barley ranged from 6.9t to 7.9t/ha, which wasn’t bad for an old variety, said Mr Payne.

But the beans – a mixture of winter and spring varieties both drilled at the end of February, were disappointing.

“They sat for six weeks in the cold, and although they later looked fantastic, they yielded 3.7t/ha at best – we usually like to get 5t/ha,” he added.

“The dry spring did for a lot of crops around here. We’re drilling oilseed rape at the moment, and it’s almost too dry, so we’ve stopped for a while. I can’t believe how remarkably relaxed it all is.”


Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Westminster
Area: 32ha
Yield: 6.9-7.9t/ha


Crop: Spring oilseed rape
Variety: Delight
Area: 49ha
Yield: 4t/ha


Crop: Winter oilseed rape
Varieties: Excellium and PR46W21
Yield: 4.2t/ha


Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Diego, Relay and Horatio
Area: 80ha
Yield: 8.9t/ha


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