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