Picture Story: Freak hailstorm decimates field of OSR

Pebble-sized hailstones smashed into this crop of Castille oilseed rape at Richard Beachell’s Field House Farm, Bainton, East Yorkshire.

Rain gauge measurements showed 27mm fell in about half an hour on Sunday, 27 April. The 8ha crop was at early flower.

“What drew me to the field was that the rest of the rape fields from a distance were bright yellow, whereas this one was very full,” said Mr Beachell.

“Nearly all the main racemes have all been broken off or snapped over, the stems are bruised  and the ground is littered with flower buds and broken stems,” he said.

“The field must have been in the eye of the storm as the neighbouring farmer only two fields away was spraying his wheat field at 8 o’clock the next morning.

hail final

“I predict that yield will be significantly affected. There will be compensatory growth by the side branches but this will certainly affect harvest date by a considerable time.

“I am also concerned that disease may be a problem entering through the damaged stems.

“It is the first time I have seen hail damage of this magnitude on the farm and I hope it is as long again until I see another case here.

“It will be very interesting to see how the field eventually yields compared with the rest of the oilseed rape.” (See below for more pictures)

hail crops 2

Hail damage 3

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