Barley yields improving

“Getting better and better” was the verdict from Andrew Ramply as he faced combining the last 20ha of 100ha of Sequel winter barley at Church Farm, Southoe, near St Neots, Hunts on Thursday (12 July).

Harvesting there began on 9 July. “That’s about normal for us,” said Mr Ramply who farms with his brother Richard. “The first field off gravel almost died in the April drought. The bushel weight was OK but the yield, around 7.5t/ha, wasn’t.”

Output off heavier sandy clay loam, however, was about 8.5t/ha – much closer to the farm’s norm. “So overall we’re a bit down on our average.”

On the plus side, with moisture contents of only 12.8-14%, no drying had been required for the grain some of which had been sold forward for immediate delivery – for what at the time looked a good price, he added.

Despite local heavy rainfall, 99% of his wheats were still unlodged and he hoped to start cutting desiccated oilseed rape straight after the barley.

Harvest Highlights 2007 is sponsored by RAGT.