Guy Smith – muddy but pleased

Guy Smith has had to pull the combine out of mud four times so far at Wigborowick Farm, St Osyth, Essex, but is very pleased with above average wheat yields.

“We started the Cordiale last Monday (30 July) because we had an equal daily quantity contract for 1-3 August, and I would have got a default of £210/t,” he said.

“The first field was early drilled and yielded almost double what it did last year, and overall it was 10% above our average.

“While elsewhere is has been so wet, we only had three inches of rain in July. Last year’s drought hurt us a lot more than this year’s rain.”

Although the grain was not bold, at 74-75kg/hl, mycotoxins were low, with a DON of 250. “The protein and Hagberg were good, too.”

Excalibur oilseed rape yielded an unexciting average, and caused the combine to get stuck four times, said Mr Smith.

“There’s still about 5% that we haven’t been near because it’s too wet. But I’m happier than I was two weeks ago, when I was seriously questioning whether we’d have a harvest at all.”

Gallant winter wheat, started on Sunday night (5 August), had yielded reasonably, but had a very mediocre bushel weight, he added.

“We were lucky with the rain over the weekend – there has been hail around us but it managed to miss us.”

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