Welsh farmer welcoming wet weather

Paul Philips said farmers were welcoming rainfall in Mid Wales. Carat winter barley harvest was three days away in Newtown. “It is all coming together really quickly. All of a sudden the crops have gone from not ripe to very ripe.”

He had grown less winter barley than last year in exchange for more Claire winter wheat. “Wheat is a very good crop for our location in mid Wales.”

Gerald winter oats were later than usual and were not quite ripe. He said there was less straw on the oats this year but this may have been due to later planting than usual. “But they’re holding their heads up well.”

Mr Philips enjoyed growing winter wheat because of the good quality of straw.

“We try to sell the straw because otherwise we’ve got a big haulage cost which puts a sting in the tail with the fuel prices so high.”

The farm is generally self sufficient, growing feed for its livestock, but Mr Philips hoped to sell some of the crop. He said with the small amount of arable crops on his farm, it was not worth joining the Assured Combinable Crop Scheme, however, he was last year offered £100/t from a farmer so desperate for oats.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have enough to sell him, but now we’re getting some new grain storage next year to hopefully make a bit of extra pocket money from the oats.”

He added: “The crops are looking better than last year but there will be no record breakers.”

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