Farmer Focus: I think winter linseed is worth another go

Wow, that was different from last year’s slog. I am writing this on the first Sunday in August and I’m not at work. Incredible.

Autumn crops are all done, a start has been made on the spring barley and the weather is set fair, so we should be all done by next weekend.

Now I just need to plan a holiday while we wait for the inevitable rain so we can start on cultivations.

See also: Winter linseed offers an alternative to beleaguered OSR

The downside is autumn cereals were some 10% down and the oilseed rape was appalling. The winter linseed was a breeze to cut and came in slightly above a rather pessimistic budget.

I will definitely give it another go next year, as I know I can improve on the agronomy now I have a handle on what it needs.

Harvest help

Our main crop, which is milling wheat, had yields ranging from 5t/ha up to 8.75t/ha depending on soil type.

We would normally hope for an average of 7.5t on the gravel and 9-10t/ha on the better soils. 

The upside is prices have risen considerably, no drying is required and it has been pretty stress free.

I would like to thank my team here of Ian Painter and Ken Smith and harvest help Jack Mattocks for all their hard work.

Jack, a student from Reading University, was a complete novice in early July and is now a competent tractor driver.

A great achievement, particularly around our narrow lanes and with all the idiot car drivers.

We try our best to be considerate and have various strategies to deal with them, but most only seem to think of themselves.

My great friend from Harper Adams, Pete Gunnell, has just retired from Syngenta and I would like to thank him for all the support he has given me over the years, both agronomically and as a friend.