Disastrous at Alton Barnes

Tim Carson’s harvest has been a disaster at Alton Barnes, Devizes, Wiltshire.

While his combine had been cutting elsewhere, he didn’t expect to cut anything on his own farm until early next week.

“As we run with two other farmers, the combine is away to cut some spring barley on one of their farms,” he said.

“It seems to dry a bit quicker than wheat – the wheat is too wet as it’s rained a lot since the weekend.”

Hagbergs had been low, as had bushel weights, said Mr Carson. “It seems to be the same for everyone around here, and worse across towards the West.

“We’re 50% cut but it’s meant to be like an Indian summer from today (30 August) onwards.”

So far Mr Carson had cut no first wheat but had made a start on second wheat, and had also completed combining rapeseed.

“Yields have been down about 25%, with Gallant achieving 8.13t/ha and Solstice yielding 7t/ha,” he said.

“We had some wheat accepted for milling but then had three loads rejected today. It’s a bit silly really, as some of it just had too much chaff in and got rejected. They’re going to end up short of it.”

Of his 120ha of rapeseed, yields stood at around 3.25t/ha, instead of the usual 4.5t/ha.

And while getting the crop off the field was proving to be a slow process, trying to create a good seedbed to drill the next crop into was another concern.

 “I hope to get on drilling by the end of the week.

“It’s just a shame when it’s like this. It’s 90% down to the weather and 10% management, and we got the management right; it’s just the weather that’s spoiled it.”

Crop: Winter Wheat
Varieties: Gallant, Diego, Oakley, and Viscount
Area: 200ha
Yield: 8.13t/ha

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Astrid
Area: 120ha
Yield: 3.25t/ha

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