West: Harvest proves a battle

What a harvest. Not as bad as last year but even so a battle from beginning to
end, although it has been worse in some other areas. In a few days
pretty much all of my clients combines will be put away for another

Winter barley yields were not as good as last year with spring
barley yields varying from good on the early cut crops to poor on
late crops due to loss of heads and major brackling.

Wheat yields were generally good – 11.25t/ha plus on the best
fields – but there were some very poor second wheat yields of below

Oilseed rape has been the surprise crop with very respectable
yields varying from 3.75 to 5t/ha averages, which I think goes to
show we are getting crops in too early and still too thick.

We are most definitely ahead of last year with pretty much all
winter oilseed rape in by this week. The most forward crops are at
two to four true leaves with volunteer control starting this

Winter wheat drilling started on Monday 7 September with
Grafton and then
moving on to

, which has yielded exceptionally well across the

Seed is varying from 49-59 thousand grain weight so check seed
lots to ensure appropriate seed rates. The vast majority of wheat
is dressed with

(clothianidin) allowing us to drill, roll and spray in
good conditions. I have yet to see flufenacet fail in the dry.

Moisture is now going to be the limiting factor for the later
drilled oilseed rape and particularly wheat after worked oilseed
rape stubbles. Seed-beds though are very good allowing good sowing
depth and seed-soil contact.

Where clients are up-to-date there will be winter barley and
winter oats sown this week to take advantage of the dry conditions
while we have them and then onto second wheats next week.

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