Spring barley matches winter in Norfolk

Rain had put a temporary halt to harvest for Downham Market farmer Nick Pratt in Norfolk. He said 35mm of rain last Wednesday (26 July) and Thursday (27 July) stopped harvest.

“We’ve had more rain in west Norfolk than our colleagues in the east.”

Mr Pratt was not pleased with 40ha of Flagon winter barley, with disappointing yields of up to 6.5t/ha. “Quality was ok but it hasn’t yielded enough to grow above the spring barley.”

Spring barley harvest was almost complete, with only 20-25ha remaining. With yields the same as winter barley he said the spring barley had done “jolly well this year”. The quality was also very good, with 13% moisture, bushel weights between the high 60s and low 70kg/hl, nitrogen of 1.4 –1.7% and retention of 90-95%. Germination was also fine, he said.

Oilseed rape was also a little disappointing for Mr Pratt, with 120ha of Winner yielding 3.1t/ha. Quality was good but moisture was a little low at 5.5 – 8.7%. The crop had been sold off the combine.

He added: “It has been a particularly bad year for oilseed rape. Despite the poor yields it had a well-developed seed. There were just not enough pods.”

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Flagon
• Yield: 6.5t/ha
• Area: 40ha

• Crop: Spring barley
• Variety: N/A
• Yield: 6.5t/ha
• Area: N/A
• Quality: 13% moisture, high 60s – low 70skg/hl bushel weight, nitrogen 1.4 – 1.7%, retention 90 – 95%.

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Winner
• Area: 120ha
• Yield: 3.1t/ha
• Quality: 5.5 – 8.7% moisture

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