Rain holding up Lincs oilseed rape harvest

Rain plus a not overly-fit oilseed rape crop had put combining on hold over the weekend for Andrew Mitchell, farm manager at Denton Farming Co. near Grantham, Lincolnshire.

“We’ve been kicking our heels since Friday,” he said.

Around 18mm of rain in a couple of hours on Saturday had stopped combining, but his Castille oilseed rape wasn’t overly fit anyway. “The glyphosate has struggled to take hold so we are waiting for it to die off.”

An attempt to get going on Monday morning [24 July] had been aborted with moisture content reading 13%. “We will have another look this afternoon.”

Around 28ha (70 acres) of the farm’s 100ha (250 acres) of oilseed rape had so far been combined. “Yields have been pretty average – around 1.5t/acre (3.75t/ha).”

But he was hopeful the remainder might yield a bit more. “It certainly seems to have held on a bit better. I think we’ve probably cut the worst 70 acres so far.”

The question now was whether Hereward winter wheat, grown on contract for Warburtons, would need cutting before the oilseed rape was finished. “We need to get it in good nick because it attracts decent money.”

Feed winter barley Carat had also been nothing to write home about, he said. “It’s all in at 6.9t/ha. It is very average.”

Next year Mr Mitchell would be trying some Saffron. “I’ll look to put it in places where we don’t have a mosaic problem.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Castille
Area: 28ha combined out of 100ha
Yield: 3.75t/ha

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Carat
Area: 45ha
Yield: 6.9t/ha


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