Kent spring barley looks promising

Kent farmer Brian Mummery said 100ha (250acres) of Optic spring barley yielded 6.5-6.8t/ha (2.6-2.72t/ac). “It hasn’t been tested yet but the quality looks promising. It doesn’t look like it has high screenings like some other people have seen.”

Eighty percent of the spring barley had been sold on contract. Fifty or sixty hectares remained which he expected to cut within three or four dry days.

Ninety percent of his Pearl winter barley made malting and had been sold on contract, but nitrogen levels were too high on 10% of the crop. Forty hectares (100 acres) yielded 7.2-7.4t/ha (2.88-2.96t/ac) which was 10% up on last year.

Mr Mummery planned to grow only Optic across the whole farm next year. “We’re past retirement days now so we’re farming easy next year.”

He said haulage costs had been high because some of the crop had to be transported from his farm in Kent up to Norfolk.

Mr Mummery said he had an inch and a half of rain over the weekend. ”It looks a bit grim this morning. It was pouring with rain yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that! But I’ve been farming for 50 years and so I don’t get too desperate when it rains.”

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Pearl
• Area: 40ha
• Yield: 7.2 – 7.4t/ha

• Crop: Spring barley
• Variety: Optic
• Area: 100ha
• Yield: 6.5-6.8t/ha

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