Dry June causes yield woes

Despite the very hot weather, Colin Rayner is struggling with the harvest on his 2500 acre farm in Windsor, Berkshire.

He has cut 40ha (100acres) of Pearl winter barley, and is trying to cut as much as he can because of concerns of rain later this week.

He is “very disappointed” with the yield of only 8t/ha compared to 10t/ha last year.

This very dry June has resulted in 11% moisture, and the development of very small berries.

“The only good thing is that we have lots of straw”, Mr Rayner said.

With 20ha (50acres) of oilseed rape harvested the crop averages 1.4t/acre which is an increase on last year’s yield of 1.25t but he is still disappointed.

“We knew this year would be difficult but we didn’t realise it would be this poor,” Mr Rayner claimed.

Due to the Single Farm Payment Mr Rayner expects to drop barley and rape from the rotation next year.

“It may be a sad day as we have been growing [barley and rape] for 25 years and it just might be our last harvest.”

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