Severe storms damage Herts crops

Hail stones the size of ice cubes and severe storms hit parts of Hertfordshire damaging many crops recently, said Robert Law from Royston. He had cut everything apart from 120ha of wheat on the farm when the storms hit, and he estimated losses to be 0.4-0.5t/ha (0.2t/ac).

“Some of my neighbours were less fortunate. One neighbour lost 2.5t/ha of peas, and another had their beans totally stripped. We had to replace roof sheets in the barn.”

Today he had 240ha left of 1000ha wheat across the farms he runs. Crops on sandy land were “a bit disappointing” at 7.3t/ha (2.9t/ac), but those on chalky land were yielding over 10t/ha (4t/ac). He said crop yields ranged from 9.6t/ha–10.5t/ha (3.84 – 4.2t/ac), which was about expected for soft first wheats.

Mr Law grew Consort, Ambrosia, Dixon and Nijinsky.

“Quality was affected by the drought – screenings are high and retention is low.”

He was also concerned for the quality of remaining wheats. “We haven’t cut for a few days now. The recent rain may mean some wheat will be discoloured and the bushel weights may be lower.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Consort, Ambrosia, Dixon, Nijinsky
• Area: 760ha cut of 1000ha
• Yield: 9.6-10.5t/ha
• Quality: High screenings, low retention

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