John Bond’s wheat ruined in Cornwall

Wheat is sprouting in the field and may have to be abandoned at WH Bond & Sons’ Trerule Farm, Saltash, Cornwall.

“It’s been a disaster,” said John Bond. “The crops had come through well and it’s really depressing to see them lying in the fields.”

He had cut 130ha (320 acres) of Oakley, Solstice and Istrabraq winter wheat, leaving 72ha (180 acres) to do.

Yields had been excellent, at up to 9.3t/ha (3.75t/acre), but with 16” of rain over the past two months, grain had stared to sprout as early as 4 August.

“We sold the first 400t for crimping at 25% moisture plus – it just enabled us to get on cutting,” said Mr Bond.

Saturday (30 August) was the first fine day in five weeks, and a demonstration tracked combine enabled contractors to cut on the wetter land.

With drying costing about £25/t, higher inputs and wasted crops, Mr Bond reckoned the summer’s wet weather had cost the business between £50,000 and £100,000.

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Oakley, Solstice and Istabraq
Area: 130ha (320 acres)
Yield: up to 9.3t/ha (3.75t/acre)


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