Essex yields affected by drought

Grass seed yields were down by 25% on last year for Andrew Kerr in North Weald, Essex. “The biggest problem is the crops are ripening too quickly and shedding ahead of combining.”

He also expected 68ha of oilseed rape to be 10% down on last year because of the drought. He said the rape had not been sprayed off and so was not quite ready to cut.

Wheat harvest was a week to ten days away. “We usually start in August but this year we will start cutting in July.” Second wheats were suffering from take-all, and first wheats from eye-spot. “We didn’t spray the wheats with Tracker and so they are suffering both from the drought and from eye-spot.”

Mr Kerr said Hereward had been affected more than other varieties, but he hoped Alchemy would yield well. “Alchemy looks fantastic and Robigus is looking pretty reasonable.”

His main concern was for lack of moisture in the crops, but he was not too unhappy with the dry weather during harvest. “We don’t want any rain so must take advantage of the sun.”

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