Harvest 09: Battered in Hereford

Torrential rain overnight has scuppered Philip Gorringe’s chances of combining at Lower Blakemere Farm, Blakemere, Herefordshire, today (3 September).

“In fairness, I don’t think anything is spoiling yet – most of what is left is late drilled,” said.

“But the spring barley is quite fit and last night’s rain has battered it closer to the ground, so I suspect we’ll be losing heads on that.”

Mr Gorringe had 12ha (30 acres) of spring barley and 93ha (230 acres) of Humber, Quartz, Conqueror and Einstein wheat to combine, as well as 40ha (100 acres) of vining peas.

The small area of Grafton wheat which had been cut had yielded a surprising 10.5t/ha (4.25t/acre). “We were chuffed to bits, although I fear it’s downhill from now on, as it was so wet in the autumn that some wheat was drilled at night into frost.”

First herbage crops for seed did very well, despite poor looks, but second crops were very thin and disappointing, he said.

Saffron winter barley had been pleasing at 7.9t/ha (3.2t/acre), with one field sown in March after sunflowers producing an incredible 8.7t/ha (3.5t/acre). “I was completely blown away by that.”

Wintmalt averaged just over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “Given the year, it was pleasing.”

Harvest progress was very variable in the area, with some farmers having finished and other scarcely started, said Mr Gorringe.

“There are an awful lot of fields of wheat about. But the ground is carrying us better than last year.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Grafton
Area: 16ha (40 acres)
Yield: 10.5t/ha (4.25t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Saffron
Yield: 7.9-8.7t/ha (3.2-3.5t/acre)

Variety: Wintmalt
Yield: >7.4t/ha (3t/acre)

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website

 

 

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