Drought hit Staffordshire barley

Winter barley yielded less than last year due to the drought for John Wilcox near Stratford in Staffordshire. Feed variety Carat averaged 7t/ha this year compared with 7.5t/ha last year. “The dry weather meant the crops did not fill out properly.”

The barley was grown to feed his own cattle and so quality wasn’t an issue, particularly. “They ripened and mostly filled before the dry weather but it could have been better.”

He was concerned for 64ha of spring barley, which was not looking very good with hardly any straw. “It’s on light land and is suffering from the drought.”

His winter wheat was on heavier ground so had not been hit so hard. But the crops had burnt up on lighter patches, with some other parts looking shrivelled and not ripening. “There are nice big heads on some, but yields are going to be down. I hoped it would do 7.5t/ha but it wont.”

Wheat harvest was likely to be a week or ten days early if the weather continued to be hot.

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Carat
• Area: 32ha
• Yield: 7t/ha

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