Harvest 2022: Disappointing yields for OSR and linseed

Combines are pushing on with the generally early harvest – although wheat volunteers are delaying a few farmers.

Rain has caused some delays although many in the East are in need of moisture.

See also: Harvest 2022: The 5 top-yielding winter barley varieties map

Combine in OSR field

© Hollie Harris

Case 9250 combining oilseed rape in South Lincolnshire – from our Harvest photo gallery, submitted by Hollie Harris.

Drone tracking in barley field

© Peter Goodrum

Barley harvest 2022 in Mid Suffolk – from our Harvest photo gallery, submitted by Peter Goodrum.

Combine in barley field

© Peter Goodrum

John Deere and Fendt combining barley in mid Suffolk – from our Harvest photo gallery, submitted by Peter Goodrum.

Combine in winter barley

© Evan Worby

Massey Ferguson Ideal 9T on winter barley in Rickinghall, Suffolk – from our Harvest photo gallery, submitted by Evan Worby.

Wiltshire

James Dean has completed his winter barley at Church Farm, near Salisbury, with oilseed rape well under way.

“We got going on 15 July on 202ha of winter feed barley,” said Mr Dean. “That was followed by 121ha of malting barley and 324ha of oilseed rape.”

Winter barley feed varieties Orwell and Tardis yielded 8.7t/ha and 9.3t/ha, respectively, and averaged 11-12% moisture. Malting barley Craft yielded up to 8.7t/ha and did meet specification despite some wheat volunteers.

“The malting barley goes to our local Trinity Grain store,” he said. “It did need to be cooled, so we have incurred a cost for that.”

Oilseed rape yielded between 4.3t/ha and 5t/ha from hybrid varieties Ambassador and Oralia, with moisture about 8% and oil content yet to be reported. “We’ve got another four or five days to go in the crop.”

Next up is 405ha of Laureate and Planet spring barley, and 202ha of Fusion winter naked oats.

Hampshire

In neighbouring Hampshire, Tim Sykes is into his 44th harvest at Denmead Farm near Waterlooville with winter wheat producing some extremely pleasing yields – some two weeks early.

Starting out on 12 July, his 40ha of winter feed barley, Hawking, has been pleasing with yields averaging 8.9t/ha at 71kg/hl.

Following this was a very disappointing 44ha of winter linseed crop. “After 40 years of growing the crop, I’m throwing in the towel,” he said.

“It produced no more than 1t/ha and we’d expect 3t/ha. It was plundered by pigeons – I think that’s due to the lack of oilseed rape now grown in the area – and we had weed issues.”

However, his 126ha of Gleam winter wheat has made up for the setback, with yields surpassing 10t/ha.

“It’s been a fantastic crop – we’re about 90% into it,” he said. “Specific weights have been between 83 and 86kg/hl.”

Mr Sykes also has a trial field of Insistor feed wheat. “With the dry forecast, we’ll have finished wheat harvest by the end of July – totally unprecedented for us.”

Left to cut thereafter is 24ha of spring barley Planet, and 57ha of spring oats which, he said, is looking thick and promising.

Cambridgeshire

In East Anglia, Tom Martin started harvest at Village Farms, near Peterborough, on 8 July, with pleasing winter barley yields followed by a shocking oilseed rape.

“We’ve only just finished the 20ha of Campus oilseed rape, so average yields are a guesstimate,” he said.

“But it’s poor – I think we’ve only achieved 60% of our five-year average with low moisture; it went below 5%. I think the most damage comes from having had dry conditions in April followed by a frost at flowering.

“We’ve reduced nitrogen inputs but, other than the oilseed rape, crops have responded well.”

Preceding the oilseed rape, winter barley hybrids Belfry and Javelin averaged 8.5t/ha, with the latter an earlier variety and producing well despite a later drilling date of October.

Tomorrow (22 July) combines will enter Mr Martin’s 150ha of winter wheat and, thereafter, 90ha of spring barley, 20ha of spring wheat and some winter beans.

“The winter wheat is looking great – the dry autumn suited it.”

Devon

Combines have started rolling in the South West for a good number of farmers – but not quite yet for Jerry Sanders-Carr at Crablake Farm in the Exe Valley.

“We’re due to start in the next two to three days,” said Mr Sanders-Carr. “We’ve had wheat volunteers come up in the winter barley crop.

“We decided not to spray and use the weather to our advantage – it’s been successful and knocked out the volunteers.”

The combine will first meet 12ha of the two-row winter barley, Memento, but weather conditions through growing have challenged the crop.

“Moisture is about 13-14% at the moment and, this year, we’re not looking at a high yield, about 7.4t/ha,” he said.

Thereafter, he has 40.5ha of winter wheat Skyfall on a seed contract, and Graham for feed, as well as another 40.5ha of spring barley Skyway.

“We’re aiming for 7.5t/ha on the wheat, but anticipating the spring barley will be variable from field to field – a range of anywhere between 5t/ha and 8.6t/ha.”

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