Combines in full swing near Saltash

Contractor John Moss has two combines out today (2 August) near Saltash, Cornwall, and has already cut 182ha of winter barley and oilseed rape for customers.

“We’ve had a good start – the winter barley has exceeded all expectations, given that in April we weren’t expecting any yield at all,” he said.

Cassia averaged 8.23t/ha over a weighbridge – a good 2.5t/ha more than expected. “We were flabbergasted. And the bushel weight was 70kg/hl, which just shows what a bit of sunshine will do.”

Maris Otter also yielded well, and made the malting grade with a bushel weight of 74-75kg/hl and nitrogen content of 1.5%. “It also produced 5-6.2t/ha of straw, which is phenomenal.”

Unfortunately, a lot of the straw was still a bit green, and rain showers had made it even more difficult to dry in the swath, said Mr Moss.

Oilseed rape was rather more disappointing. “Avatar yielded 2.7t/ha, and Cabernet has done 3.3t/ha – I doubt we will average more than 3.7t/ha across the lot.”

Although Mr Moss’s combines were in full swing, a lot of farmers in the area wouldn’t get underway until next week, he said.

“There’s still quite a lot which isn’t really fit – I think it will all come together. Let’s just hope it stays dry.”

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassia
Area: 17.4ha
Yield: 8.23t/ha

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