Highs and lows of harvest at Ivy House Farm

Stuart Baker is breaking two records this harvest – potentially the highest yielding commercial oilseed rape crop of the season, and the worst wheat ever.

The Astrid oilseed rape at Ivy House Farm, Laxfield, Suffolk, averaged 6.33t/ha (2.56t/acre) across a 13ha (32 acre) field, with all fields topping 5t/ha (2t/acre).

“It was incredible – I totted up the weighbridge tickets and thought something must have been wrong.

“But I put some fertiliser bags on the weighbridge the next day, and it was right.”

Vision also yielded well, at 5.2t/ha (2.12t/acre), although one field, which was ploughed rather than min-tilled, did 4.4t/ha (1.8t/acre).

“Over all, we averaged 5.4t/ha (2.2t/acre) across 49ha (120 acres), which we’re really pleased with.”

Mr Baker was also happy with wheat yields, considering the dry spring. The total acreage averaged 8.52t/ha (3.45t/acre), which is 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) below normal.

“But I was expecting it to be down at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) so I’m very pleased.”

Winter barley yields were also below average, at 8.9t/ha (3.6t/acre).

“It’s been quite an easy harvest – the combine has gone a bit quicker than it should do, and we’re well forward on the groundwork because of the rain.”

He had just 24ha (60 acres) of wheat left to cut, which had been drilled in February after sugar beet.

“It won’t break any yield records, except for being the lowest yielding wheat crop we’ve ever had.

“So we’ve come to the conclusion that we’ll give up sugar beet – it’s just not worth growing it.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Viscount
Yield: 10.1t/ha (4.1t/acre)

Variety: Oakley
Yield: 10t/ha (4.04t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassia
Yield: 8.9t/ha (3.6t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Vision and Astrid
Area: 49ha (120 acres)
Yield: 5.4t/ha (2.2t/acre)

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