Very good harvest in Wiltshire

Wiltshire grower Roger Moore told FWi’s Harvest Highlights he had finished a very good harvest at Manor Farm, Salisbury.

Spring barley yielded slightly below average at just under 7.5t/ha (3t/ac), but quality was good. Thirty-two hectares (80ac) of Troon looked “very promising for the distilling market in Scotland”.

He also cut 40ha (100ac) of Optic for seed. “I’d like to think we could wean off Optic for malting with new varieties coming along, but then the demand is still there for it.”

Winter wheat averaged 10t/ha (4t/ac) from 1000ha (2500ac) with good quality and very high specific weights.

“They are some of the best we’ve ever had. The chalk soil has done very well through the long dry spell – the roots got well into the chalk and the sunshine helped the specific weights. We’ve never seen them so high on Solstice before.”

Alchemy and Solstice were grown for seed. The breeders took some of the seed and the rest was farm saved, he said.

His only problem was with 20ha (50ac) of second wheat Alchemy, which had been treated in exactly the same way as the first wheats but did not perform very well.

“The screenings were high. I don’t usually do second wheats, but since the first wheats were fine it doesn’t encourage me to be growing second wheats again.”

Oilseed rape yielded 3.75t/ha (1.3t/ac) from 200ha (500ac). He predominantly grew Castille, but also had some Lioness for seed this year. “The merchant did not take the Lioness seed. Apparently it was 1% too dry, which is nonsense because he just had a large amount of grain from various farms to choose from.”

Mr Moore saved some Lioness seed for this year, but said it had been slipping in popularity. He added: “It is not worth buying expensive seed from [merchants] when you are not getting the basic premium. It is too risky and so I’m not keen to do it.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Variety: Alchemy and Solstice
• Yield: 10t/ha
• Area: 1000ha

• Crop: Spring barley
• Variety: Optic and Troon
• Area: 72ha
• Yield: 7.5t/ha

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