Dry weather hit Hertfordshire farm

Hertfordshire farmer Paul Christian still had 20% of his crops to combine when the rains came, but he said yields across the whole farm were 20% down on average due to the dry weather in early summer.

“We are an early, dry farm so we are very susceptible to low moisture levels when there is no rain.”

He said lupins were still to cut but no harm had been done by the wet weather yet.

But yields of 600ha (1500acres) of Soissons and Robigus winter wheat were 20% down on the farm average.

“The worst, wettest part of the farm, which we usually wonder why we grow crops on, actually did best this year. It highlights more moisture was needed.”

Quality was fine. Protein levels of Soissons were not as high as high as they could have been but Mr Christian said they were for a low protein market so performed fine. Bushel weights were also all fine.

He added: “We’ll be staying with Soissons as it suits the farm. We will grow a little Robigus but we’ll try to replace beans with oats.”

Twenty-four hectares (60acres) of beans did not perform well this year. “They were awful for the fourth year running. I’m fed up – you need heavier land for beans.”

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