Not started harvest at Freemans Farm

Chris Vowles hasn’t started harvest yet at Freemans Farm, Barrow Gurney, Bristol, after having to replant winter cereals with spring crops instead.

“We’ve only got 4ha of wheat, and the rest is spring barley that we planted in April,” he said. “It’s hardly ripe yet – we probably won’t be into that until the end of next week.”

The wet winter washed out all of Mr Vowles’s winter barley, although the Windsor wheat managed to hold on alright.

“We’ve got Propino and Quench spring barley and it looks really well. It grew on well and hasn’t died off early so it’s had a long growing season,” he said. “I’m fairly optimistic about it.”

See also: German tips for controlling resistant flea beetles.

A lot of farmers hadn’t started spring barley in the area, so Mr Vowles wasn’t particularly late. “I just hope the harvest coincides with a period of dry weather – we only need five dry days and we’ll be done.”

He also had Swedes and turnips, which were looking in excellent condition. “We’ve had the right weather for them – we had to redrill some due to flea beetle damage, but you expect that.

“It’s all growing really well and is very clean – it’s a pleasure to see.”

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