Best wheat ever for Cambridgeshire farmer

Cambridgeshire farmer David Wakefield near Huntingdon said the 140ha of Solstice winter wheat cut so far is the “best I’ve ever grown”.

Quality looks good and yields have averaged around 10.5t/ha, with some of the more moisture retentive soils doing up to 12.5t/ha, according the yield monitor on the farm’s Massey Fergusson 7278 combine.

Much of the success is due to even nitrogen supply across the field, after using the N-Sensor system this year, he suggested.

By comparison, 300ha of oilseed rape has not done quite as well as expected, after Castille and Lioness averaged 3.65t/ha and Fortis was slightly lower. “We were disappointed at first, but yields don’t look quite as bad when you see what others have done this year.”

While recent rain has halted combining, Mr Wakefield welcomed the delay, as much of the farm’s oilseed rape is established by autocasting into wheat stubble. “We didn’t start wheat until 3 August last year, so we haven’t been able to autocast anything yet, as it’s far too early.”

The only major problem to have affected combining so far was when three days were lost after the combine picked up a suspension unit from a car that crashed in one of the fields earlier in the year – breaking the sieves, drive units and various belts, he said.

• Crop: Winter oilseed rape
• Area: 230ha
• Variety: Castille & Lioness
• Yield:3.65t/ha

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Solstice
• Area: 140ha
• Yield: 10.5t/ha (up to 12t/ha)
• Quality: Good

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