Graham McIntrye, Nottinghamshire

Graham McIntyre of Broomhill Farm, Nottinghamshire has had a promising start to harvest, with the winter barley now finished, but oilseed rape yields are down on last year.

His barley area was split between two-row Cassia and the hybrid six-row Volume. “They have between them averaged a pleasing 8.6t/ha and in general, moisture content has varied between 12.5% and 15% with only a small amount requiring drying,” said Mr McIntyre.

“OSR harvest has progressed and only 20ha of the original 120ha are left to cut. All the rape was desiccated with glyphosphate two to three weeks ago and there has been some lodging, which meant combining has not been so great,” added Mr McIntyre.

“All the OSR is grown on contract for Frontier – high-erucic varieties Maplus and Eraton. As from next year Maplus won’t be available and so the entire area will be sown with Eraton. So far, the average yield is likely to be about 3.6t/ha against last year’s 4.2t/ha. This is down to a longer flowering season and the dry spring, “says Mr McIntyre.

“Because of the threat of big storms and the benefit of a new dryer, we were happy to cut the rape at between 10-11% moisture. It is better to have it in the store and not on the floor,” said Mr McIntyre.

His target oilseed rape drilling date is between 20 August and the end of the month. Prior to this 3t/ha of poultry manure will be applied and ground will then be disced twice to produce a seed-bed.

Winter wheat harvest is drawing closer. “We will, hopefully, start at the end of this week and are worried about fusarium like everyone else,” said Mr McIntyre.

James-TaylorJames Taylor, Gloucestershire

Western Barometer farmer James Taylor had completed his barley and was well into the oilseed rape at the Co-op’s Down Ampney Estate near Cirencester.

“Winter barley has all been cut and yields are all over the place. The six-row variety Volume yielded well at up to 9t/ha, while the two-row Flagon was disappointing at 6.5-7t/ha. It was grown for malting, but has ended up going for feed because the specific weights were too low,” said Mr Taylor.

“Everything was combined under 14% moisture barring the last two loads,” added Mr Taylor.

“Next year we are not growing any winter barley because of concerns regarding blackgrass control, but that has not manifested itself this year. It’s a shame because the barley provides an early entry for the following oilseed rape crop,” said Mr Taylor.

The oilseed rape varieties are DK Extrovert, DK Excellium and DK Cabernet. “Early fields of Extrovert have yielded 3.5t/ha against last year’s average of 4.1t/ha. We are now in some Extrovert that’s yielding 4t/ha and we are hoping the remaining area will bring the yield averages back up,” says Mr Taylor.

“We just need two to three days to finish the OSR and then we will be able to get into the winter linseed. It has been sprayed off with diquat and we will cut that while waiting for the wheat to become fit,” added Mr Taylor.

Some of the milling wheat has been sprayed with glyphosphate with a view to combining next week. “Straw is still green and the grain is fit, which is due to a robust fungicide programme and obviously the long, cool growing season hasn’t been helping,” said Mr Taylor.

The varieties include Gallant, JB Diego and Duxford. “We need Gallant in the mix because it allows us to start preparing the oilseed rape seed-beds in the first week of August.” But he was not concerned at this year’s delay.