Poor start at Rectory Farm

Harvest got off to a poor start at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, but later crops are more promising.

Peter Wombwell has cut two blocks of oilseed rape so far, with the first – Excalibur – on very light land yielding just 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre).

“I certainly wouldn’t call it a harvest highlight – anything but,” he said.

“It was dreadful – it had very good root structure, having been subsoiled in, but it just ran out of water and died; the seeds had been reabsorbed by the plant.”

However, the second block, of PR46 W21, yielded much better on stronger land, at 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre).

“I think all of harvest is going to be as variable, according to soil type. It was a bad start, but is improving, and we’ve got the better oilseed rape left to do.”

Mr Wombwell had sprayed off his peas, which should be ready in about five days time (23 July). “The pods are well filled, with six or seven peas per pod, which is better than I’d expected.”

Wheat was about 10 days away, depending on the weather. “They’re also a mixed bag, depending on the soil.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Excalibur
Yield: 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre)

Variety: PR46 W21
Yield: 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre)

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