Rained off at Beckbury

Richard Solari has cut 60% of his wheat at Heath House Farm, Beckbury, Shropshire, but has been rained off again today (29 August).

“We’ve had 5mm of rain this morning, but others have had 20mm already, so we’ve been quite lucky.

“It’s been a very spasmodic harvest, and on reflection we got off to quite a good start in winter barley.”

Cassia averaged 9.3t/ha, with one field doing 9.9t/ha, he said. “That will be the crop of the year.”

Having forward sold some wheat for early August, he made early inroads and dried it down. “I’m pleased we did, because the weather at the time was reasonable.”

Oakley and Santiago averaged a disappointing 7.4t/ha, with some as bad as 6.2t/ha and most at 8t/ha. “Bushel weights were down, at 66-70kg/hl.

“But I’ve heard some horror stories, so am complaining one minute and grateful the next.”

Mr Solari was cutting oats at 20% moisture yesterday, while wheat was still at 25%. “We’ve done about 70% of the oats, but have got secondary tiller growth so have got to spray it off.

“But the biggest challenge is yet to come – 61ha of flat peas. Ground conditions are wet – we’ve had to abandon some barley, and are keeping the grain trailer on the headlands.”

Potato harvest was also proving difficult. “We would have only harvested half the potatoes we have without our wheel drive harvester.

“But we’re lucky compared to some others as we’re predominantly on light land here.”

Yields were down, with Maris Piper coming off at 50t/ha. “We would normally get 62-74t/ha, but it’s a nice sample.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Oakley and Santiago
Yield: 7.4t/ha

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassia
Yield: 9.3t/ha

Crop: Potatoes
Variety: Maris Piper
Yield: 50t/ha

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