Getting on well at Rock Farms

Carl Tuer is making excellent progress at Rock Farms, Alnwick, Northumberland, having finished harvest and almost completed the drilling.

“We’ve got friends all over the country and we were the second to finish combining, on 11 September – we seem to be miles ahead of everyone else,” he said.

However, other farmers in the area had not been as fortunate, with quite a bit still to combine in the borders.

“We got three to four inches of rain early last week, which has slowed things down,” he added. “We’ve got 120ha of second wheats to sow and had to wait for the soil to dry out.

“We started drilling again today (1 October) and it’s a lot stickier than I thought it would be.”

Winter barley yielded over 7t/ha, and all made the malting grade, with spring barley yielding about the same,” said Mr Tuer. “It’s all gone in on the contract.”

But wheat had been pretty disappointing, with Cassius and Viscount yielding 7t/ha or less. “Bushel weights have been in the low 60s to mid 70s – it’s a real mixed bag.”

Later sown crops had outperformed the earlier wheat, with second wheat Beluga proving the best of the lot, he added.

With 810ha of winter barley, oilseed rape and first wheats in the ground, Mr Tuer was very pleased with progress.

“We are used to only having one short window of opportunity in Northumberland. The crops generally look brilliant, although there is 40ha of oilseed rape that I’m a bit worried about.”

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