Average Cambridge harvest

Stephen Ellerbeck at Huntingdon Farm, Cambridge, said harvest had been satisfactory and overall it was a very average year.

Malacca wheat had been worst affected by the dry spell, with 48ha (120ac) yielding 8.75t/ha (3.5t/ac). Bushel weights were “borderline” at 75 – 76kg/hl, but proteins and Hagberg levels were good. “The variety doesn’t cope with the drought. It could be dropped by many growers this year.”

Einstein performed much better and he was very pleased with 68ha (170ac) yielding 9.4t/ha (3.75t/ac). “As a second wheat I would not think of growing anything else. It was successful, vigorous, stood up to the extremes and never let us down.”

Twenty-four hectares of Cordiale was “acceptable” at 10t/ha (4t/ac), and 14ha (36ac) Solstice yielded 9.4t/ha (3.75t/ac).

“There is no market for high quality wheat with UK millers. They’re just blending so affecting the premiums so there is no point in growing class one wheats. You’re offered £8/t premium, but I was offered a £6 premium for Einstein. With £16-£20 more costs in it, it is just not worth growing it.”

Spring beans yielded 3.13t/ha (1.25t/ac), and Wizard winter beans yielded 5t/ha (2t/ac). “It looked superb but just needed some rain.”

However, Mr Ellerbeck was very pleased with Castille oilseed rape which yielded 4t/ha (1.6t/ac) and oil content was 43-44%. “We’re being offered £160/t now so we’re doing the job better, and it is showing with the results.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Malacca
• Area: 48ha
• Yield: 8.75t/ha
• Quality: Bushel weight 75 – 76kg/hl

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Einstein
• Area: 68ha
• Yield: 9.4t/ha

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Cordiale
• Area: 24ha
• Yield: 10t/ha

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Solstice
• Area: 14ha
• Yield: 9.4t/ha

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Castille
• Yield: 4t/ha
• Quality: Oil content 43-44%

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