Good progress at Thrift Farm

Harvest is going well at Robert Law’s Thrift Farm, Royston, Hertfordshire, although yields are generally below average.

“We’ve had the odd shower, but have had a good run up till now, and have been steaming along most of the time,” he said.

Having almost finished all the winter barley, oats and oilseed rape, he was about halfway through harvest as of Thursday (11 August).

“Yields are a lot better than we thought they would be at the end of May, and even up to the start of harvest.”

Carat winter barley yielded below average, at 7.63t/ha (3.1t/acre), with low screenings and a bushelweight of over 70kg/hl – ideal for the pearling contract it was grown on.

Vision and Alienor oilseed rape yielded better than normal, at 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre), with Mascani winter oats about average at 6-6.3t/ha (2.4-2.6t/acre).

“They had a very good bushelweight of 52-54kg/hl,” said Mr Law.

Consort wheat, grown on the lightest land, averaged 7.6t/ha (3t/acre) as a first wheat, with Ambrosia and Istrabraq on better land yielding 9.6t/ha (3.9t/acre) and 9.3t/ha (3.8t/acre), respectively.

“We’re just starting Scout, which has had poor rententions at just 82%, and a seed crop of Crusoe.

“We can’t get Wizard or Ambrosia seed this year so will be dropping them and trying Invicta and Target.”

Cassia winter barley, grown for seed at Mr Law’s Nottinghamshire farm, was very average, while oilseed rape did surprisingly well, with Mascani oats averaging 6t/ha (2.4t/acre).

“We are moving on to less glamorous parts of harvest now. The spring barley will be ready in the next few days and it’s not going to be good, either on the yield or the quality side.

“We have had to spray a lot off at Royston because of regrowth, but can’t spray the seed crops, so it’s been a nightmare to combine.”

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Carat
Area: 110ha (270 acres)
Yield: 7.63t/ha (3.1t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Vision and Alienor
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)

Crop: Winter oats
Variety: Mascani
Area: 70ha (173 acres)
Yield: 6-6.3t/ha (2.4-2.6t/acre)

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Consort
Area: 120ha (296 acres)
Yield: 7.6t/ha (3t/acre)

Variety: Istabraq
Area: 17ha (42 acres)
Yield: 9.3t/ha (3.8t/acre)

Variety: Ambrosia
Area: 17ha (42 acres)
Yield: 9.6t/ha (3.9t/acre)

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