Spring barley under way at Church Farms

James Dean has started combining spring barley at Church Farms, Salisbury, Wiltshire, having finished oats, oilseed rape and winter barley.

So far the Tipple had proved very variable, with the first field producing just 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre) and the second a much better 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

“The first field never looked that good, so we hope it’s a one-off,” he said. Straw yields were also down, although were heavier on the better ground.

Cabernet oilseed rape had outperformed Castille, at 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre), compared to 3.3t/ha (1.3t/acre).

“This is the third year we have grown Cabernet and it’s been excellent every year.”

Grafton naked oats came in at a reasonable 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre), while Cassata winter barley, which all made the malting grade, yielded 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) with 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) of straw.

“I think that, overall, we’ll have about half the straw we’ll normally have,” said Mr Dean.

His wheat was very short, and had gone off prematurely on gravel, although crops on chalk ground looked better.

Having cut back from three to two combines, he had invested in a Claas Lexion 600 with a 12m header. “We were a bit worried about the size of the header, but it’s going very well.”

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Tipple
Yield: 5.6-7.4t/ha (2.25-3t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Cabernet
Area: 300ha (750 acres)
Yield: 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre)

Variety: Castille
Area: 100ha (250 acres)
Yield: 3.3t/ha (1.3t/acre)

Crop: Naked oats
Variety: Grafton
Area: 140ha (350 acres)
Yield: 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Cassata
Area: 243ha (600 acres)
Yield: 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)

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