Two combines and a dry week have enabled Colin Rayner to cut 120ha (300 acres) of winter barley and some rape at his farms in Berkshire, Essex and Surrey.
“I’m happy – the sun is shining and the price of corn is going up. Where we had some rain in May we have the yield, but it’s very variable.”
With no appreciable rain since 31 March, the fields which had enjoyed some rain in May were yielding significantly better, he said.
So far the Sequel winter barley had yielded between 5t/ha and 10t/ha (2-4t/acre), with the minimal cultivation fields performing the worst. “I think the roots just mustn’t have got down far enough to get the moisture.”
Straw yields ranged from under 2.5t/ha to 3.7t/ha (1-1.5t/acre), and Mr Rayner was selling large 250kg bales for £14 each plus a baling charge.
So far, 20ha (50 acres) of Expert oilseed rape had been cut, producing more than 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre), which was pleasing on gravelly ground. “I think yields will be poor on the really light land though.”
Mr Rayner expected to be cutting oats by the end of the week, and would be into wheat next week.
Crop: Winter barley
Area: 120ha (300 acres)
Yield: 5-10t/ha (2-4t/acre)
Crop: Oilseed rape
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)