Harvest 09: Worst ever at Manor Farm

Poor yields and tricky weather have made this the worst harvest ever at Richard Payne’s Manor Farm, Heathfield, Somerset.

“I’ve been trying to be patient and wait to get the moistures right, but I’m rapidly losing patience.”

Mr Payne had cut two-thirds of his wheat, and was cultivating ground ready for oilseed rape over the weekend. “You can do so much chopping and changing that you get nothing done.”

Although the early drilled wheat had yielded reasonably well, later wheat was disastrous, he said.

About a third of the wheat was drilled after beans, and was so wet over the winter that he couldn’t even apply slug pellets using a quad bike. “It was atrocious. Everything was compromised from the word go.”

Mr Payne had 36ha (90 acres) of Battalion, Alchemy and Humber to finish. “If I average 3.25t/acre (8t/ha) I’ll be happy, but I don’t know whether I will.”

Saffron winter barley was a complete disaster, but oilseed rape yielded a pleasing 4.4t/ha (1.8t/acre).

The 57ha (140 acres) of Fuego spring beans also looked well, he added.

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Castille
Yield: 4.4t/ha (1.8t/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.

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