West: Starting wheat drilling this week

Thank goodness for a dry hot sunny week last week. I would guess more acres were cut last week than in the whole of the previous 5-6 weeks. The combines started rolling on the Sunday and went full chat all week. The wheat harvest is approximately 95% cut with the majority of farms finished cutting. Combines are now moving into winter and spring beans with the odd bit of late-sown spring barley still to cut.

Wheat yields have been all over the place (3-4.5t/acre) and has primarily come down to light land/heavy land with the best yields coming off the very fertile heavy land. Quality in the main has been good, but specific weights have suffered slightly between the early and later cut crops. There have been odd reports of wheat sprouting towards the end of last week, but mainly on crops on lighter land that had burnt off quite early on.

Oilseed rape drilling commenced on 23 August, with the majority going in last week. Some crops from the week before got quite severe rainfall and have capped slightly so could do with some  rain to help it through. Light land early sown crops are at two true leaves, with most of last week’s drillings starting to emerge. Guessing that somewhere in the region of 80-85% of the crop is now in. Primary varieties are Cubic, DK Cabernet, Vision and Fashion with some clients managing to get a small acreage of Sesame. Crops have been sown at 60-70 seeds/sq m, with some brave souls going down to 50 seeds/sq m.

Wheat drilling is starting this week with Grafton going in first followed by Humber (Humber yields have been good over here and marginally better than Grafton so we have kept some for another year). I’m kicking off at 140 seeds/sq m (100-110 kg/ha dependant upon thousand grain weight), but drilling Grafton at a slightly higher rate due to its shy tillering and the fact that I doubt that this variety will ever fall over (100-110 kg/ha dependent upon TGW).

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