Catching up at Smithy Briggs

Harvest has been a dismal affair for Peter Caley and his father at Smithy Briggs Farm, Burton Constable, Hull, but they are catching up now.

“I’m pleased to be under pressure after the past few weeks – it’s been really quite difficult with all the rain we’ve had,” said Peter.

“Since June my father has been saying that the wheat was full of disease and wasn’t going to do well.

“We cut it yesterday (5 September) and he was right. It hardly made 5t/ha, and we haven’t even honoured our contracts.

“Last year we got 12.4t/ha across the farm, and we sold 6.2t/ha forward, which we thought was quite sensible. Now we’re going to have to go and buy some wheat at today’s prices.”

Vining peas were also a complete failure. “We had one week of dry weather for drilling and then it rained non-stop, so there have been a lot of issues to sort out there as well. It’s the worst harvest I’ve ever seen.”

However, Excalibur oilseed rape had come in about average, at 4.4t/ha, and straw yields had been good, said Mr Caley.

“Hopefully that will make up for a bit, if we manage to get it all baled. We’ve got 400ha to bale, but at 60ha a day it’s not too drastic, as long as it stays dry.

“Within four or five days there won’t be a lot left to cut in the area.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Invicta and Viscount
Area: 20ha
Yield: 5t/ha

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