Steaming ahead at Martinsdown

Harvest is progressing well at J.V. Farming Ltd, Martinsdown, Dorchester, Dorset, with the combine averaging 50ha (124 acres) a day. 

Operations manager Tim Merry said harvest started a week ago (25 July) in oilseed rape, and he had cut 950t in five days before being rained off on Saturday.

However, he was back on again by Saturday afternoon and was heading off today to cut the final 80ha (200 acres).

Yields had varied widely, from 3t to 5t/ha (1.2-2t/acre). “There doesn’t seem to be any real reason for it – it’s quite bizarre.

“I don’t know whether it was the frost or the dry conditions but flowering was all over the place.”

So far Cabernet had topped the list, averaging 4.86t/ha (1.97t/acre), with Sesame at 4.23t/ha (1.7t/acre), Fashion at 4.1t/ha (1.66t/acre) and Catana bringing up the rear at 3.5t/ha (1.4t/acre).

“I am pleased with the yields, considering the season,” said Mr Merry. “And we have only had to dry less than 10% of the harvest so far, which given the past few years has been very refreshing.”

He expected to start combining the 630ha (1556 acres) of wheat on Wednesday, with Einstein and Cordiale first on the list for the Claas Lexion 600.

“The crops aren’t overfit so we’re really looking for something to cut.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Catana
Area: 136ha (336 acres)
Yield: 3.5t/ha (1.4t/acre)

Variety: Sesame
Area: 26ha (64 acres)
Yield: 4.23t/ha (1.7t/acre)

Variety: Fashion
Area: 63ha (156 acres)
Yield: 4.1t/ha (1.66t/acre)

Variety: Cabernet
Area: 21ha (52 acres)
Yield: 4.86t/ha (1.97t/acre)

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