Welsh oats slightly disappointing

Harvest has been stop-start for the past three weeks for Paul Philips in Newtown, Wales. “We’ve only to bale the straw, but it has been about grabbing a little when you can.”

Yields of Gerald winter oats were 1.25t/ha (0.5t/acre) below average at 5t/ha (2t/acre) but he said it was better than the 3.75t/ha (1.5t/acre) yields of last year. Quality was good and the sample was clean.

He said the yields were slightly down because the oats had been sown in November rather than October because of last year’s wet autumn.

Barley had done very well having yielded 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) last year and 6.25t/ha (2.5t/acre) this year.

Straw had also been “good and clean”, with 130round bales and 600 conventional small bales from 12ha (30acres). He still had about 500 small bales still to do, having finished last Tuesday (29 August).

Mr Philips had started a small amount of winter wheat. “It seems to be ok but will not be barn-busting. It was plagued with a little couch-grass, but we’ll be satisfied if it can do 5t/ha (2t/acre).”

The crop was sprayed with pre-harvest glyphosate but he said the wet weather meant it had not been sprayed again.

“A nice week is forecast so we hope to finish the baling and then we’ll cut the wheat on Wednesday. It will take a couple of afternoons before we start re-drilling.”

Next year Mr Philips planned to try 2ha (5acres) of triticale because less nitrogen would be needed and so it would cost less, but yielding more straw.

“I look forward to trying it. With only five acres if it turns out to be a disaster then I’ll not worry too much.”

• Crop: Winter oats
• Variety: Gerald
• Area: 12ha (30acres)
• Yield: 5t/ha (2.5t/acre)

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