Lincolnshire wheat yields halved by shock hail storm damage

A block of winter wheat in Lincolnshire has yielded less than half of the farm’s 10t/ha average for this harvest, after it was hammered by a freak hail storm that stripped a significant proportion of grain from the ears.

Earlier this week, Simon Day, farm manager at Worth Farms in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, cut the 11ha block of the feed wheat variety Keilder, which bore the brunt of the hail damage, reporting a disappointing 4.92t/ha average yield over the weighbridge.

The unforecasted hail storm ripped through central England on 20 July, battering oilseed rape crops in the Huntingdon area of Cambridgeshire, writing off about 50% of pods before it tore through Lincolnshire.

See also: Freak hail storm decimates OSR and wheat crops

“About 100ha of the farm was affected to some extent by the hail, but 11ha of wheat and 25ha of sugar beet were the worst hit,” says Mr Day.

“I’d never seen wheat stripped like this and it stripped the leaves of the sugar beet, so we will have to leave that to recover and harvest it in January.”

Mr Day estimates that 70-80t of wheat was lost to the vicious storm and adds that hail also damaged a crop of vining peas further toward The Wash, which knocked the quality at harvest.

While average yields across the 750ha of the farm’s winter wheat are about 1-2t/ha down this harvest on what  was expected, Mr Day notes that quality is good, with bushel weights in the mid-70s [kg/hl] and a block of Grafton feed wheat hitting 12.5-13.5% protein.

Stay up-to-date with all the latest harvest 2016 coverage, upload your harvest photos to our gallery and follow Farmers Weekly‘s harvest accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

Need a contractor?

Find one now