Harvest 2019: NFU chief’s wheat yields beat 10-year average

Essex grower and NFU deputy president Guy Smith is cutting winter wheat in perfect conditions, with yields above his 10-year average.

See also: Harvest 2019: Heatwave brings on wheat combining in Cambridge

Mr Smith started cutting 170ha of the milling variety Crusoe on Wednesday and by close of play on Thursday, he had about 40ha harvested, with moisture running from 13% down to 12.5%.

Wheat being harvested

Guy Smith’s wheat harvest

He said the wheat was yielding above his 10-year-average of 8t/ha and quality was good as the grain weighed “like lead” while he harvested the crop with his New Holland CX8070 combine with a 8m header.

“It’s a good start to harvest and it is going like a dream, in perfect harvesting conditions,” he told Farmers Weekly.

Mr Smith farms at Wigboro Wick Farm, St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, on heavy clay and clay loam soils in one of the driest area of England, and all his winter wheat is the breadmaking variety Crusoe.

He anticipates that winter wheat this summer is likely to yield well on better land, but could show more indifferent yields on lighter soils.