Water is lying in the fields at Ian Bird’s Catchgate Farm

Water is lying in the fields at Ian Bird’s Catchgate Farm, Castle Eden, Hartlepool, with just 7ha (17 acres) of barley safely in the barn.


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“It’s absolutely desperate – I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mr Bird, a FW Barometer Grower. “It is wetter than it was last year – the land is soaking – it’s difficult to travel on some of our driest land today.”

Mr Bird cut 7ha (17 acres) of Saffron winter barley at 18% moisture on Tuesday (5 August), with yields below average at 7t/ha (2.7t/acre). He still had 80ha (200 acres) of Saffron and Retriever to cut, as well as 89ha (220 acres) of oilseed rape – some of which was swathed three weeks ago.

After that would be 400ha (1000 acres) of feed wheat, which was not yet ripe, he said.

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Saffron
Area: 7ha (17 acres)
Yield: 7t/ha (2.7t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Excalibur
Area: 89ha (220 acres)

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Einstein, Oakley, Claire, Timber and Gladiator
Area: 400ha (1000 acres)



Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


See the New Farm Crops website and the picture gallery.



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