Mixed harvest in Essex

Andrew Kerr has wrapped up this year’s harvest at New House Farm, North Weald, Essex, with mixed results.

The 65ha of Palmedor and Cabernet oilseed rape was very disappointing, with an average yield of 2t/ha.

“It’s been a tough couple of years with wet, heavy land and the spread of shepherd’s purse,” Mr Kerr said. “We’ve been growing oilseed rape since 1976, so we’ve decided it’s a good time to take a break due to legislation changes.”

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However, winter wheat had been very pleasing, split across Relay, Santiago and Edgar.

“Yields have averaged 10t/ha which is very good for us, particularly for Edgar as a second wheat.”

Although one field was slightly lower on yield, Mr Kerr put the high performance down to luck in rotation on good quality ground.

“It’s been a good growing season and we’ve kept on top of disease which has paid off,” he added.

With this year’s harvest complete, Mr Kerr was preparing for next year’s crops, although he wasn’t in any hurry.

“We’re not putting anything in early due to blackgrass issues. And it’s been so dry that we’ll wait until there’s good seedbed moisture.”

Mr Kerr had an additional worry over the ever-growing slug population. “It’s getting beyond anything we’ve ever seen and becoming quite a concern.”

Crop facts
Crop: Winter oilseed rape
Varieties: Palmedor and Cabernet
Area: 65ha
Yield: 10t/ha
Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Relay, Santiago and Edgar
Area: 80ha
Yield: 10t/ha

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