New varieties excel at Aston Farms

Oilseed rape has yielded exceptionally well at P & J Awdry & Sons’ Aston Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, despite some wide variation. 

Having cut all the large trial plots, Pioneer varieties ranged from 3.6t/ha to 4.7t/ha (1.45-1.9t/acre), said arable manager Martin Smart.

Cabernet proved disappointing, at 3.6t/ha (1.45t/acre), despite looking “a million dollars”, while W22 topped the chart at 4.7t/ha (1.9t/acre).

Labrador was also doing well, at 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre), and early Excalibur averaged 4.2t/ha (1.71t/acre).

“Moistures have been all over the place, from 8.2% up to 11.4%.”

Mr Smart was now moving into a 100ha (250 acre) block of Castille, followed by 40ha (100 acres) of W14, and then 182ha (450 acres) of contract rapeseed combining.

“We have 14 share farms and a large contracting business – we have just bought a fourth combine.

“Everything is going to come at once – I’ve already got some Gladiator and Oakley wheat and winter beans ready to cut on the lighter land, which hasn’t had any rain for two months.

“But on the heavy ground I’ve got some fantastic looking Gallant and Hereward – the 34ha (85 acres) of Gallant has looked a picture all the way through.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Labrador
Area: 40ha (100 acres)
Yield: 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre)

Variety: W22
Area: 43ha (106 acres)
Yield: 4.7t/ha (1.9t/acre)

Variety: Cabernet
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: 3.6t/ha (1.45t/acre)

Variety: Excalibur
Area: 34ha (85 acres)
Yield: 4.2t/ha (1.71t/acre)

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