Speedy progress for wheat in Essex.

Winter wheat looked to be finished by the end of the week for Guy Smith of Wigboro wick Farm, St Osyth, north-east Essex. Cutting began on 21July – his earliest start since 1976, and he thought he might even be able to plan a holiday.

He had finished 61ha (150 acres) of Solstice and was working on 162ha (400 acres) of Xi19. He expected yields of about 8t/ha for the Xi19. Quality looked excellent with fewer but bolder grains than usual. Protein was 14% and Hagberg above 300. His Solstice yielded about 9t/ha (3.75 t/acre).

His 61ha (150 acres) Pearl winter barley went well, yielding just under 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) with good nitrogen at 1.62 and encouraging prices.

Rape was also finished, but he still had 24ha (60 acres) of spring beans to cut which he didn’t expect to yield very well.

He was pleased with general progress and said that weather-wise it had been easy for him to work, but had been less kind towards his crops’ yields.

“For a headline I’d say: Easy harvest, mediocre yields, but high prices.”

• Crop: Winter barley
o Area: 61ha
o Varieties: Pearl
o Yield: 7.4t/ha
o Nitrogen: 1.62

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Area: 223ha
o Variety: Solstice
o Area: 61ha
o Yield: 9t/ha

o Variety: Xi19
o Area: 162ha
o Yield: 8t/ha
o Hagberg: above 300
o Protein: 14%

*Harvest Highlights 2007 is sponsored by RAGT

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