Getting ready for wheat near Swainby

Steve Dawson is about to make a start on combining 1417ha (3500 acres) of wheat at Dawson Farms, Swainby, Yorkshire, where yields so far have been wonderful.

“It’s been a bit stop start, but we’ve finished the rapeseed and have got a day left in the oats.

“Yields have been absolutely fantastic – goodness knows where they’ve come from.”

Excalibur and Ovation oilseed rape had averaged 6.1t/ha (2.47t/acre) over a weighbridge, with neighbours’ crops coming off at 5t/ha (2t/acre), he said.

“They had only expected to get 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).”

Pelican winter barley, sown on 16 October on heavy clay, much against Mr Dawson’s agronomist’s advice, yielded 10t/ha (4.07t/acre) – slightly below the usual average of 11.1t/ha (4.5t/acre).

“I was very happy with that.”

Mr Dawson started taking wheat into his store two days ago. “Farmers say it is cropping very well.”

His own wheat – Oakley as a first wheat and Duxford second in the rotation – would be ready soon.

“They haven’t tillered as much as I’d like, but I think the heads will make up for it.”

However, Grafton had performed appallingly in the area, he added. “It was so bad the farmers didn’t want to tell me what it yielded.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Excalibur and Ovation
Yield: 6.1t/ha (2.47t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Pelican
Yield: 10t/ha (4.07t/acre)

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