Farmer Focus: Yorkshire storms flatten barley and some wheat

Now I know how Formula One drivers feel – they crash a lot early on in their careers to find the limit. They say you’ve got to push past find the limit to find it.

Senna, Schumacher and Hamilton have all been there before going on to greatness.

Looking at a field of leaning/flat wheat, I think I have found the limit of Grafton’s standing ability. Two storms, that pushed over most of our barley, sent the wheat on its way.

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The nitrogen was applied in dry conditions so there was no leaching, and being a first wheat, it had quite a bit of farmyard manure in the seed-bed.

Still, having pushed this KWS early-driller hard for years, it seems I may have run out of luck. Locally, harvest gets closer, oilseed rape crops have been desiccated and look full of promise.

Hopefully, the Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) field of Extrovert will yield as well as it looks.

Some winter barley looks like it will be combined shortly and the Siskin winter wheat still looks a picture – I only hope it doesn’t disappoint.  

Spring beans are podding top to bottom – the bright sunny days are just what the crop needs to fulfil its potential.

In my younger days as a rep in East Yorkshire, I remember nearly every farm had at least one bit of yellow tillage kit.

The seemingly indestructible quality as well as been really effective made Simba legendary. I guess most of those discs and presses are still doing a good job somewhere, and of course, the DD ring was a game changer (we still run two Cultipresses).

So it was a shock to hear that the Woodbridge Road factory in Sleaford is to close. I, like many, thought the change to green paint was somehow disrespectful to the DNA and heritage of the brand.

The “Nunnington Bash” was held at the start of July. The excellent event was really well supported, making lots of money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Living and working in the sticks we see the yellow aircraft often flying overhead all too often. Somehow it seems too integral and important to everyday rural life to be dependent on a charity to provide funding.


Richard Wainwright farms 510ha in Ryedale, on the southern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. With soil types ranging from heavy clay loam to limestone brash, the family partnership grows winter wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape, spring beans and rotational grass leys. The farm also runs a large beef fattening unit.