Beating expectations in Pitney

Winter barley yields have been pleasing in Pitney, Somerset, and wheat crops look better than expected.

Contractor Tony Higgins of WJ Higgins & Son said he had cut 10ha (25 acres) of winter barley at John Meaker’s New Manor Farm, Pitney, Langport, which had yielded 8t/ha (3.2t/acre) at 14% moisture.

Two other fields, totalling 14ha (35 acres), cut on the same day (2 July), averaged 8.65t/ha (3.5t/acre).

“The yields were impressive considering the very dry conditions experienced over the growing season,” said Mr Higgins.

He had also cut 14ha (35 acres) of Claret winter barley at his own Middlegate Farm, Pitney, which averaged 8.3t/ha (3.37t/acre) over a weighbridge, at 14-14.5% moisture.

“Considering the spring and summer we’ve had I was very pleased with the results; it was almost 1t/acre more than I thought we were going to get.

“We’ve got some Cassius winter barley to cut but it’s later than the Claret, so won’t be ready until the end of next week.

“I don’t think it withstood the dry weather as well as the Claret. I’ve also got oilseed rape sprayed off, so that will be about a fortnight away.”

Although wheat had lost a lot of tillers, the rain had arrived in sufficient time for grain fill, he added. “We could be in for a nice surprise when we get into the wheat.”

Crop: Winter barley
Area: 38ha (15 acres)
Yield: 8-8.65t/ha (3.2-3.5t/acre)

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