Wheat about ready in Devon

David Down of Hayne Farm, Gittisham near Honiton had 243-323ha (600-800 acres) of winter wheat almost ready. He hoped drier conditions would let him combine later today.

He said: “As soon as the moisture content comes down and when the sun shines we’ll combine, but I’m not under a lot of pressure if I start the crops this week or next.”

Most of the Wheat on the farm was Robigus and Alchemy with a little Deben, he said. Grains were shrivelled, although ear size was good. Mr Down thought yields would be lower due to the earlier rain, which fell when wheat was flowering.

“Until we combine we just can’t tell though,” he added.

Mr Down had already cut 12ha (30 acres) and wasn’t impressed with yields of 7.41t/ha (3 t/acre). He thought grains were one-third smaller than usual.

Castille oilseed rape yielded well for Mr Down at 3.7t/ha (1.5 t/acre) making £186 plus oil bonuses. His 57ha (140 acres) was a “nightmare” to harvest in the wet and he lost a little with the bad weather.

• Crop: Oilseed rape
o Area:57ha
o Variety: Castille
o Yielded: 3.7t/ha
o Price: 186£/tonne (plus oil bonuses)
• Crop: Winter wheat
o Area: 12ha
o Variety: Alchemy
o Yielded: 7.41t/ha
o End Use: crimping

*Harvest Highlights 2007 is sponsored by RAGT

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