Simon Beddows hosts young farmers’ charity bike ride

Congratulations to the Henley Young Farmers Club, who held a sponsored bike ride and raised more than £1,500 for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance Trust, a service so critical to rural populations. The 25-mile circular route started from our yard and passed eight pubs. Showing real restraint, the riders only stopped at two.

Combining got off to a slow start on 14 July with the early oilseed rape variety Astrid yielding 4.1t/ha at 10.5% moisture – a good yield for our ground. At this point, the DK Cabernet was still a week off being ripe enough to desiccate. Having no rain for a week gave the glyphosate time to complete its work on the winter barley, which has suffered from secondary tillering after the wet weather in June.

This is also affecting much of the wheat, so pre-harvest glyphosate will be more widely used this season. We have had this problem before on the gravel, where a lack of moisture in the spring has been followed by a wet July. But it is much more widespread this year and not just confined to the gravel soils.

The first two fields of KWS Cassia winter barley yielded just over 7t/ha, which considering they are on more gravely soils, was better than expected. Various on-farm trial areas were also cut and weighed over the weighbridge.

Both the new SDHI fungicides for barley, Bontima (isopyrazam + cyprodinil) and Siltra Xpro (prothioconazole + bixafen), failed to equal the farm standard. I must stress these are farm trials so they only really relate to our moisture-deficient soils. I still have a wheat trial with Aviator Xpro (bixafen+ prothioconazole) to look at on some better soil.

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