Heavy rain yesterday (2 September) meant yet another day not combining for John Moss at Howton Farm, Saltash, Cornwall.
“We’re having a rough time down here – we had 8.5” of rain in July, 18 days without rain in August – but interspersed with showers and fog – and 27mm of rain yesterday.”
So far he had only managed 10 or 11 days’ combining, and was only just over halfway through harvest. “It’s very depressing – we aren’t a happy bunch.”
Although most crops were bearing up reasonably well, the straw was getting brittle and Alchemy winter wheat and spring triticale were sprouting, he said.
“What’s rubbing salt in the wound is the price, which is hard to bear.”
What had been cut had performed reasonably well, which was one consolation. Saffron winter barley ranged from 7.4-8.9t/ha (3-3.6t/acre), and oilseed rape exceeded all expectations at 3.1-4t/ha (1.25-1.6t/acre).
Diego winter wheat, which had looked appalling, yielded well at 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre) at 19% moisture, while Duxford had disappointed at 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre), said Mr Moss.
Mr Moss now had winter wheat, winter oats and spring oats to cut, as well as a lot of contract combining. “The spring oats are ripe, but 50% of the straw is still green. We’re in desperate need of some sunshine.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Area: 5ha (13 acres)
Yield: 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre)
Yield: 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre)
Crop: Winter barley
Yield: 7.4-8.9t/ha (3-3.6t/acre)
Crop: Oilseed rape
Yield: 3.1-4t/ha (1.25-1.6t/acre)
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.