Michael’s crops under water in Durham

Michael Manners had measured three inches of rain in the first eight days of September at Conicliffe Grange, Staindrop, Darlington, Durham.

“It’s just horrendous,” he said. He had cut most of his winter wheat, and yields had been reasonable at 10t/ha (4t/acre) so far.

But the remaining 30ha (75 acres) of Humber was ready to shed, and bushelweights were already suffering. “One more spell of windy weather will see it off.”

A more pressing concern was getting next year’s crops in, and the impact on this year’s potatoes, said Mr Manners.

“This weather is going to make a mess of two years. I don’t think the rape we’ve drilled is going to grow – it’s probably just drowned. I’ve ordered some spring oat seed instead.”

Mr Manners had to call in two tractors on Friday (5 September) to pull another out of the mud, and when spraying potatoes water levels reached the door of the tractor cab.

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Napier, Duxford and Humber
Area: 263ha (650 acres)
Yield: 10t/ha (4t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Castille, Excalibur and Lioness
Area: 97ha (240 acres)
Yield: 3.9t/ha (1.6t/acre)


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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


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