Busy with groundwork near Sheldwich

Bill Harbour has been busy ploughing and subsoiling ground for oilseed rape at Gosmere Farm, Sheldwich, Kent, while the weather dries out.

“Harvest was going very well until the past few days, when we’ve been rained off. We’re probably about halfway through now.”

Having finished Palmedor oilseed rape, which was slightly disappointing, he had been cutting Gallant and Solstice milling wheat before the rain arrived.

“We started the Gallant in July and have dressed it for our own use. The bushelweight was in excess of 83kg/hl, and it’s a really big seed. Protein came in at 13-13.3%.”

Although the Gallant had exceeded 10t/ha (4t/acre), the Solstice had probably outyielded it, at between 10.5t and 11t/ha (4.25-4.45t/acre) over the combine.

“Our average yield last year was 10.3t/ha (4.2t/acre); when we got the rain after the dry spring this year the heads really filled up and are full of protein.”

Mr Harbour had 11ha (27 acres) of Gallant left to cut, followed by 45ha (111 acres) of peas, which were desiccated and ready to go.

He also had 60ha (150 acres) of Xi19, which was still green, Barrie spring wheat and 50ha (123 acres) of Echium to cut.

“We haven’t had any rain overnight, so will be back on later today (8 August).”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Gallant
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: >10t/ha (4t/acre)

Variety: Solstice
Area: 60ha (150 acres)
Yield: 10.5-11t/ha (4.25-4.45t/acre)

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