Spring drought damaged Essex crops

Essex farmer Guy Smith from St Osyth said this was “not a harvest to remember” with the spring drought having damaged crops.

Wheat yields averaged 8t/ha, with first wheats Hereward and Xi19 coming in at 8.5t/ha. But he said second wheats were “not too brilliant” and third wheats were terrible having suffered from take-all and the drought.

Mr Smith said harvest had been worse than last year as the rain came at the wrong time this year. Combining finished a week ahead of last year, although he wishes he had left the last crops until this week. “Sunshine is cheaper for drying than diesel.”

By comparison, linseed performed well and was sold on a good contract. He said it was a “vigorous rooting crop” and averaged 2.25t/ha.

But Mr Smith added: “We’re no better off now than we would be if we hadn’t planted this time last year.”

  • Crop/Variety: Winter wheat – Hereward, Xi19

  • Area: N/A

  • Yield: average 8t/ha – Hereward and Xi19 first wheats 8.5t/ha

  • Quality: N/A

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