Variable Berkshire harvest

“Oilseed rape and winter wheat came together more than expected – we were a third of the way through the wheat by the time we finished the rape,” said John Holland in Hungerford, Berkshire.

Winter wheat quality was variable over 1960ha (4900acres) with the same variety doing well on one farm, but not on another.

“Hagberg levels and protein in Malacca were OK on one farm but 15 miles away the proteins were much lower. It is just a combination of how the plant dealt with the heat on the land.”

He said Malacca yields were nothing spectacular, but the early Group two wheats were more acceptable at 8.7t/ha (3.48t/acre). “We were happy with Solstice and the Alchemy did well, but we are all spread around the area so it depended on the farm.”

Mr Holland said 980ha (2450acres) of oilseed rape was “interesting” with 30% of the crop disappointing, 45-50% on budget and 20% very good. Yields of Royal and Castille were “nothing spectacular” at 2.9-3.6t/ha. Moisture levels were 7% at the lowest up to 11%, and some of the crop had to be dried out after a few showers.

He expected to continue growing Royal next year with some Excalibur. He added: “Luckily we had no Winner this year. From the words I heard it was less than winning!”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Mainly Malacca, Solstice and Alchemy
• Area: 1960ha
• Yield: Over 8.7t/ha

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Mainly Royal and Castille
• Area: 2450ha
• Yield: 2.9-3.6t/ha
• Quality: Moisture 7-11%

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