Harvest 09: Worst yields for 20 years

Wheat yields have been the worst for 20 years at Tim Morris’s Coneygar Farm, Cirencester, Wiltshire.

“Around here, yields have been very variable, and below average. We’ll be lucky to have done 7t/ha (2.8t/acre) on first wheats.”

Dreadful slug damage in the autumn, leading to thin crops, followed by drought in the spring, were to blame for the poor yields, he said.

Having waited to get the last of the wheat in below 15% moisture on a nearby farm, Mr Morris eventually gave up and combined it wet on Saturday (5 August).

“It hasn’t been a very satisfying harvest.”

Quench and Westminster spring barley yielded about average at 6t/ha (2.4t/acre). “Although the nitrogen, screenings and germination are good, the maltsters don’t like the colour.

“The trouble is that there’s too much of it about and they are trying to chuck it out on any grounds they have.”

Kabuki peas produced a reasonable sample, and despite the wet harvest Mr Morris had only used two tanks of diesel in the drier this year.

Farmers in the area had a bit of wheat and spring barley left to combine, as well as beans, spring rape and linseed, he added.

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Oakley, Cordiale and Alchemy
Yield: 7t/ha (2.8t/acre)

Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Quench and Westminster
Yield: 6t/ha (2.4t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Astrid
Yield: 3.5t/ha (1.4t/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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