Harvest Highlights: Barley better than OSR

Send us your views on harvest progress/prospects: Karen.Willmer@rbi.co.uk

Harvest has been stop-start for farmers this week (w/c July 25) due to the variable weather. Reports today (July 29) have found many growers are disappointed with the performance of oilseed rape this year, while barley has been more promising.

Cheshire farmers Andrew and Stephen Shaw were disappointed with the 2.4t/ha yield of Winner. They claimed the yields were not as high as they had hoped as the crop had looked good. Andrew Shaw suggested: “Winner has had its day. It’s getting old.”

Tim Hamilton in Kent also noticed Winner did not yield as well as he had hoped – averaging 3.4 and 3.46t/ha. He said the high biomass of Winner was the cause: “They looked good strong crops, but the yields were not good.”

He was looking to grow more Astrid next year as the yields of 4.48 and 4.34t/ha were “significantly better” than Winner.

Oilseed rape yields for Mark Swinson in Northamptonshire were also down on last year at between 4 – 5t/ha, however the rain was preventing him cutting any more.

But many growers seemed pleased with barley quality and yields.

“This winter barley could be crop of the year,” suggested Norfolk farmer Roger Middleditch after the 1.65% nitrogen meant he could sell straight off the dresser for malting. He was surprised at the 7.5t/ha yield because the crop looked thin from the drought earlier this year.

Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer Mark Ireland in Lincolnshire noted the Optic spring barley had yielded 5 – 6.5t/ha with good quality. Nitrogen was 1.5%, and bushel weight was over 70kg/hl.

See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.

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