Waiting for wheat at Blackbird’s Farm

Alistair Pinkerton has finished combining oilseed rape at Blackbird’s Farm, Aldenham, Hertfordshire, and is now waiting for his wheat to ripen.

“The rape was very mixed – we had very droughty conditions in the spring, followed by too much wet, and it only averaged 3.3t/ha, which is below our norm.”

Solstice winter wheat was about three days away from combining, and looked dreadful, he said.

“It’s got lots of shrivelled grains. We’ve got 162ha of Solstice to cut – it’s the only variety we’re growing this year.

“It’s always hard to know for sure until you get the combine in, but it doesn’t look good.

“It’s very soft underfoot as well, so we’re having to be very careful. We haven’t got the combine stuck yet, but it’s been close a few times.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Cabernet and Camelot
Area: 200ha
Yield: 3.3t/ha

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