Harvest Highlights – Waiting for wheat to ripen

Stephen Ellerbeck was waiting for wheat to ripen at Highfield Farm, Huntingdon after finishing cutting oilseed rape. Having had near endless rain since May and little sunshine to ripen corn, he wasn’t expecting a bumper crop.

“I can’t remember a summer like this.”

He had 160ha (400 acres) of Gladiator, Cordiale, Einstein and Solstice winter wheat to harvest, of which the Cordiale had stood the best. All looked a bit “dull and dish-watery”. “We’re in unknown territory [from the wet weather] for how yield and quality has been affected,” he said.

But he expected better prices for his Group two varieties. A local grain trader had said a premium of £12-15 could be available, he suggested.

“We need a few weeks of dry weather now.”

Mr Ellerbeck had finished 90ha of Castille oilseed rape. He estimated yields to be 3.1-3.5t/ha at 8.5% moisture. The crop was cut at 10-11% moisture content.

• Crop: Oilseed Rape
o Variety: Castille
o Area: 90ha
o Yield: 3.1-3.5t/ha
o Moisture contents: 8.5%

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