Insulting yields at Raskelf Farm

Ian Elsworth finished harvest about two weeks ago at Raskelf Farm, York, but says there is still some wheat and beans left to cut in the area.

“There was a lot done on Saturday (22 September), but we’ve had 12mm of rain today – the wheat won’t be looking pretty after that.”

Yields had been shockingly bad, with wheat about 30% below average. “For the time and effort you put into growing them, it was an insult.”

Oilseed rape and spring barley were about average, with winter barley slightly above average, said Mr Elsworth.

“We had a good year with rapeseed last year, and were back to the five-year average this time round.

“With the wheat, it didn’t matter whether it was first, second or continuous wheat, it was all bad.

“Sowing date seemed to be the most important factor, with Invicta sown after maize proving to be the best crop.”

Mr Elsworth had finished drilling 105ha of oilseed rape, and also sowed 14ha of wheat yesterday. “We’ve got a lot of heavy clay so planting from now on is going to be a concern.”

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