Bean yields suffer mixed fortunes for Simon Beddows

Harvest finally finished on 15 September with the beans. Yields were on the whole disappointing for both the spring and winter varieties. The best was just under 5t/ha for a field of Wizard winter beans and the worst was just under 1t/ha for a field of Fuego spring beans.

All samples were badly affected by bruchid beetle. However, the cost of control is questionable against the possible premium for human consumption.

The progressive braking system that we fitted to our grain trailers this year worked a treat. There were no black tyre marks on the narrow roads around the farm and the tyres will not need replacing anywhere near as frequently as in the past.

Next harvest will see a darker green combine working in our fields as the current Lexion 570 Montana will be replaced by a John Deere S680i Hillmaster.

Drilling is in full swing and our new Kockerling drill is positively romping over the ground. It is producing a very level seed-bed for me to follow on behind with the pre-emergence herbicides. This year Liberator (flufenacet + diflufenican) plus or minus Defy (prosulfocarb) or followed by Avadex (triallate) is being used according to the blackgrass threat. So far, spraying has been a challenge both before and after the drill, due to high winds and showers.

We have been using a rotary ditcher, owned by the RSPB, to create foot drains and scrapes as part of our HLS scheme for wetland birds. It is a most impressive piece of kit, gouging out shallow ditches and depressions to retain water and blasting the resulting spoil across the field. I look forward to seeing the results next summer when the wet areas should provide a good habitat for the wading birds.

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