Clearing bales in Dorset

Peter Snell is clearing bales at North Farm, Horton, Wimborne, Dorset, and has seen some of the best yields ever this year – particularly with the spring barley.

The 263ha of Propino spring barley averaged 9.3t/ha, which was well above the five-year average for the farm.

“The yield was exceptional, although we had to leave the straw for another week or so until it was fit to bale,” he said. “It was very green and really slowed the combine down.”

Crop facts

  • Crop: Spring barley
  • Variety: Propino
  • Area: 263ha
  • Yield: 9.3t/ha

Winter barley was also very pleasing, averaging just under 9.9t/ha.

“Of the Cassia and Glacier cut this year, Glacier was the star performer, and straw as usual was very good,” Mr Snell said.

Winter wheat was split between Santiago, JB Diego and Cordiale, with the total average reaching 11.33t/ha.

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“The best of the wheat was JB Diego, which we’ve seen reach 12.35t/ha and with bushel weights of 82kg/hl. On our home farm, it averaged 10.4t/ha which was very pleasing.”

Santiago averaged 11.5t/ha, while second wheat Cordiale averaged 10.7t/ha.

However, oilseed rape was disappointing, with the best PT211 cut for a neighbour at 4.3t/ha. 

“The wet weather and heavy ground really impacted on performance,” Mr Snell said. “With no frost it came out too thick, with all of the pods thin and only along the top.”

Prophet peas were one of the highlights of the year at 5.53t/ha. “It’s definitely one of the best margins of the year.”

Having finished drilling oilseed rape last week, Mr Snell was now busy clearing bales, to get ready for ploughing and drilling winter wheat.

“To sum everything up, it’s been a very good year for us but it’s still all go and no time to rest yet.”

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