Rain stops play at Marcham

William Cumber has got 6ha of spring oilseed rape left to cut at Manor Farm, Marcham, Oxfordshire, but is being held up by showers.


“So far, it’s yielded really well – I thought I’d be happy if it did 2t/ha but it’s close to 2.5t/ha,” he said.


Winter oilseed rape never made it through the winter, and Mr Cumber only managed to sow 30ha of the intended 180ha of winter wheat. “Soissons did 6t/ha on lightish land, but it was excellent quality at 14% protein and 380 Hagberg.”


Winter barley was uninspiring on very light land, producing just 6t/ha. “The dry summer didn’t help after the wet winter, as the roots just never got down,” he said.


“And the winter oats were absolutely pathetic – they didn’t quite make 4t/ha on light land.”


In contrast, spring barley had mostly been very good, with Waggon yielding close to 7.5t/ha and Tipple 6t/ha. “But the Tipple didn’t make malting as the nitrogen content was over 1.9%,” said Mr Cumber.


Having left 80ha of land fallow over the winter, he expected to harvest just 1200t of crops this year, compared to 2200t in a normal year.


“It was good for cash flow during the spring, but will have a reverse effect this winter when I have less to sell.”

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