Waiting to start harvest at Blakemere

Philip Gorringe hasn’t cut a single blade of cereals at Lower Blakemere Farm, Blakemere, Herefordshire, with nothing yet quite ripe.

“We’ve done 40ha of grass seed, and have one field left of that – then we’ve got a couple of blocks of wheat which are barely ripe,” he said.

Grass seed had performed quite well, considering the wet growing season, and the cereal crops looked surprisingly well.

“The wheat, drilled in November, is ridiculously short and not thick enough, but at least it’s even and the quality will be there,” he added.

The rest of the wheat went in in February, with winter barley drilled right up into April.

“We’ve been drilling Saffron, Cassia and Tower after sunflowers for a few years – we wanted something that we could drill from December onwards that would yield well with lots of straw,” said Mr Gorringe.

“They do just as well drilled late as they do drilled in the autumn, and take less fertiliser and weed killer – it just means that even now the crop is still very green.”

A couple of extremely heavy fields were drilled particularly late, and were barely headed, he added.

“They look very strange, and either we’ll be combining in November or will sell them as wholecrop.”

Futures contracts: farmer views wanted

Do you use futures and options markets to help you manage risk? Or are you interested to learn more? Farmers Weekly is keen to find out the extent to which UK farmers use these markets. Complete our survey here.

Take the survey

Futures markets and commodity risk management online course:

  • Risk management strategies for a more predictable financial performance
  • Educated conversations when collaborating with your advisors
  • Negotiate better prices with your grain merchants

View course

Using contractors saves you time and money. Now you can book, track and pay all in one place. Register for early access today.

Find out more
See more