Variable yields in Cambridgeshire

Yields are proving extremely variable in the Cambridgeshire area, where crops on light land have suffered in the drought.

Philip Darke, store manager at Camgrain, said most of the winter barley delivered so far had been Cassata.

“There’s a massive variation in yield and nitrogen, depending on the soil type.” Crops on light land had yielded as badly at 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre), with those on stronger land topping 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)

Nitrogen contents had also been affected by yield, with lighter yielding crops presenting higher nitrogen levels.

“Overall, nitrogen contents are probably at 1.9%, compared to 1.8% last year. There’s a lot of regrowth in some crops as well, but where they have yielded well the grains are big and bold.

“Even where crops haven’t yielded, about half still have good screening retention levels.”

Most barley had come in at 15.5-16% moisture, although some was a dry as 13-13.5%, said Mr Darke.

Oilseed rape was being delivered at anything below 16%. “It’s such a valuable crop that people want to get it into store.”

However, recent rain meant nothing had been cut since Saturday (16 July), he added. The 2000t of oilseed rape that had been delivered had yielded well, at about 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).

“We’ll probably start seeing wheat in about 10 days time, if the sun comes out.”

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