Spraying seedbeds near Ashford

Martin Boulden is busy spraying off stale seedbeds at Court Lodge, Aldington, Kent, as it is too wet to get on combining or drilling.

“It’s been very frustrating – we started harvest on 2 July and will still be harvesting on 2 September; it’s just been very stop-start,” he said.

However, yields had been good, with Cassia winter barley coming off at 9t/ha and Mascani winter oats at 8.6t/ha. “We’re very pleased with that.”

Oilseed rape was more disappointing, at just 3.7t/ha. “We had some hybrids and some conventional and it just didn’t seem to matter what it was – it looked good but didn’t perform,” said Mr Boulden.

See also: 7 unusual harvest photos: bombers, rainbows, Red Arrows and windmills.

Claire winter wheat had been exceptional, averaging 10.4t/ha across the farm, with Hereward producing 8.6t/ha.

“It had a lot of blackgrass which dragged the average yield down, but it’s all good quality so it’s worth a bit – I’m just sitting on it for now.”

Mr Boulden had cut some Mulika spring wheat on Saturday (23 August), which had produced over 7.4t/ha. “That was very pleasing, but then we had 60mm of rain on Sunday and 48 hours of rain since,” he added.

Oilseed rape was drilled up and emerging nicely, and Mr Boulden was making the most of stale seedbeds to spray off blackgrass.

However, he still had spring wheat, spring barley, beans and linseed left to harvest. “We’ve got another week to go now I reckon.”

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