Disappointing harvest in E.Yorkshire

Jon Hodgson has had a disappointing harvest at Great Newsome Farm, South Frodingham, Yorkshire, having faced recent flood damage and poor yields.

“We’ve only got 8ha of Odyssey spring barley left to cut – and although it looks well we’ve lost 0.3ha to flood damage,” he said.

“In mid-August we had two inches of rain in a week and the Holderness drainage ditches, which haven’t been very well maintained, flooded.

“The waters have receded now but it’s deeply frustrating as we grow the barley for our own brewery on the farm.”

Winter wheat yields were about 2.5t/ha below average, and other farmers in the area had experienced similar shortfalls, said Mr Hodgson. “The wheat has been very poor in this part of the country down the East coast – I’m not really sure why.

“There has been a lot of disease pressure and take all – plus the soil structure seems very tight when cultivating, despite the precision farming we do.

“It’s certainly not down to variety, as Horatio – my best variety – was my neighbour’s worst.”

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Overall, yields had averaged 8.6t/ha, with some at over 9.9t and others around 7.4t/ha. “That’s at least 2.5t/ha light.” Bushel weights had been on the light side, at 74-75kg/hl and screenings were also higher than normal, he added.

“We grew Revelation, Myriad, Invicta and Istabraq, and protein contents averaged 11.5-12% protein, with Hagbergs at 300 seconds.”

In contrast, Harlequin winter barley yielded a very respectable 8.9t/ha, while oilseed rape yields had not been bad either.

“Once we got the combine yield meter properly calibrated we were less despondent,” sayd Mr Hodgson. “Anastasia did almost 5t/ha at 45% oil, with Artoga and Pendulum at 4.2t/ha and Expower at 4t/ha.”