John Wilcox is busy grain carting today (2 September) at Batch Acre Hall, Stratford, Staffordshire, and hopes to finish the final 7ha of wheat tomorrow.
“It wants cutting now – it’s surprising how it has deteriorated over the past 10 days; it doesn’t want any more rain,” he said.
Yields, however, had been exceptional, with Gallant and Crusoe averaging 10t/ha and feed wheats 11.4t/ha. “The Gallant probably won’t make the milling grade as its protein is between 9% and 12%,” said Mr Wilcox.
“But the Crusoe came in at almost 12% so it should make some premium.”
See also: Video – harvesting around the country.
Cassia winter barley, grown on heavy ground before oilseed rape, did 7.4t/ha. “It was nothing to shout about.” And a small area of spring barley on poor ground was also unexciting, at almost 5t/ha.
“The oilseed rape, though, was very good,” said Mr Wilcox. “We grow a lot of potatoes here and only started growing oilseed rape recently, so it’s on virgin ground.
“It yielded about 4.3t/ha and had good oils, so we’re pleased with that.”
Unfortunately, the prices were fairly diabolical. “We just sold 180t of barley in at £109/t delivered, which is pretty poor, but we need the shed for the potatoes.
“But the potato market is even worse – yields are only average at 44t/ha graded out and at £70/t that just doesn’t stack up.”