Former Barometer farmer Ben Atkinson was about 75% of the way through his wheat at Grange Farm, Rippingdale, Lincs, and quality was starting to drop.
“It’s alright at the moment, but it’s on a knife-edge. The heads are starting to show signs of shedding grains and falling off,” he said.
Having drafted in two extra combines, Mr Atkinson managed to cut 69ha (170 acres) between 5pm yesterday and 3.30 this morning (11 September), when he was rained off again.
Oakley had proven the best of the wheat varieties, with total yields averaging over 10t/ha (4t/acre). The Cordiale looked as if it might make the milling grade, he said.
Rape was also pleasing, averaging 4.2t/ha (1.7t/acre).
Mr Atkinson now had 334ha (825 acres) of wheat to finish. But he was getting more concerned about drilling next year’s crops.
“We have drilled 45% of our rape and the early stuff went in well. However, we’re at a standstill now. And with input costs as they are there is no room for second rate crops.”
Crop: Oilseed rape
Area: 607ha (1500 acres)
Yield: 4.2t/ha (1.7t/acre)
Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Oakley, Humber and Cordiale
Area: 1014ha (2505 acres)
Yield: >10t/ha (4t/acre)
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
See the New Farm Crops website.