Jonathan Tipples has had a terrible harvest at Reed Court Farm, Marden, Kent, with wheat and rapeseed yielding as badly as expected.
“The oilseed rape looked terrible all year, and if you take the area that we planted it’s yielded 1.2t/ha,” he said.
“Even if you take out the bits that we abandoned, it’s still only done 2.5t/ha. It’s been terribly patchy – the pigeons wouldn’t leave it alone.”
Second wheat Panorama hadn’t done much better. “We mauled it into terrible seedbeds in the autumn, and probably shouldn’t have done it – it’s been pretty shocking.”
Having cut over 80ha, yields were averaging around 6.2t/ha, said Mr Tipples. And that left about half the wheat area still to cut.
“But the remainder is Panorama as a first wheat, and that should be a lot better – it went into the ground before the monsoon hit last autumn.”
However, with rain today (16 August) and showers forecast over the weekend, Mr Tipples didn’t expect to start cutting that until next week.
“It will give us a chance to get the ground ready for drilling some rape.”
Crop: Winter wheat