Harvest Highlights – Oilseed rape chitting in Lincolnshire

At Gibbs Farm, near Spalding Edward Whitfield was waiting for rain to clear before he could re-start combining.

He had harvested about 80ha (200 acres) of Castille, Lioness and Astrid oilseed rape with yields of 3-4.2t/ha (27-34 cwt/acre) depending on how his crops had been affected by hail and heavy thunderstorms.

With chitted seed caused by rain and humidity in the desiccated crops and a similar area still to cut, he anticipated problems.

“The seed is germinating in the pods,” he said.
His wheat, 400ha (1000 acres) of Alchemy, Welford, Cordiale and Hereward, was partly lodged by wind and rain.

“It’s looking terrible.”

Overall progress had been slow, was “totally dependent on the weather”, and fax and TV forecasts indicated another poor week, he noted.

Rainfall in his area had been highly variable. On 20 July his farm had received 35mm (1.4in), but others 10 miles away had had only half that.

“It’s going to have an adverse effect on quality.”

He was particularly concerned for milling wheat.

Pumping might be needed to help dry out water-logged soils, he added.

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Castille, Lioness, ES Astrid
• Area completed: 80ha (200 acres)
o Yield: 3-4.2t/ha (27-34cwt/acre)
• Area total: 160ha (400 acres)
• Quality: N/A


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