Combines return to work in Bedfordshire

Brian Shaw from Luton, Bedfordshire, is 40% through harvest. “Today is the first day we will be flat out on both combines because we were held back by the showers.”

He has finished 406ha of oilseed rape, with yields averaging 3.37t/ha. He said yields were no reflection of the variety; it was totally down to the type of land. “If it looked good, then it yielded good. If it looked like it had struggled then it didn’t yield well.”

From a total 200ha of winter barley, Carat performed well at 7.5t/ha and Pearl was disappointing at 6.25t/ha. But the Pearl quality had been good and the crop will go for malting.

Optic spring barley yielded similarly to winter barley at 5–7t/ha, depending on the type of land. “There are no results for quality yet but the crop suffered from frost kill in the spring.”

He had cut one field of 140ha winter beans, but the medium to light land had been hit by the drought. “We’ll only grow beans on heavy land from now.”

Mr Shaw had also “nibbled at” some winter wheat. Malacca was yielding 7.5–8t/ha and Einstein was at 8t/ha on light land. He said the quality was looking good but he hoped the best of the wheat was to come.

He added: “So far, so average. The prices look like they are improving this year. It’s either cautious optimism or a reckless pessimism!”

• Crop/ Variety: Oilseed rape
• Area: 406ha
• Yield: 3.37t/ha

• Crop/Variety: Winter barley – Carat and Pearl
• Area: 200ha
• Yield: Carat – 7.5t/ha, Pearl – 6.25t/ha

• Crop/Variety: Spring barley – Optic
• Area: 200ha
• Yield: 5 – 7t/ha

• Crop/Variety: Winter wheat – Malacca and Einstein
• Area: N/A
• Yield: Malacca 7.5 – 8t/ha, Einstein 8t/ha

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