Wheat still to get near Blakemere

Philip Gorringe still has grass seed and wheat to cut at Blakemere Farm, Blakemere, Herefordshire, but is confident that quality will still be usable.

“We’re just about under water here – we had three inches of rain at the beginning of the week,” he said. “But the crops are still viable for seed if I can get at them.”

Mr Gorringe had swathed some grass where it had regrown, and managed to cut peas and most of the wheat with the help of friend Will Morgan.

“Given where we were not many weeks ago, we’re much happier than we were. Although yields and bushel weights aren’t great, we are lucky that the cereals are making the required quality,” he said.

“I have daily phone calls from seed companies praying that we’ve combined something usable.”

Wheat had yielded a modest 6.2-6.8t/ha, with Grafton proving the best at 7.4t/ha. “Conqueror had a nice sample, but lower yield.

“Winter barley was disappointing on the whole – it was bold, but bushel weights were in the 50s. You look at a pile of corn and there’s 20% less in there than expected.”

Peas had been the highlight of the year, said Mr Gorringe. “We had Starlight vining peas that we drilled late, and they ripened just in the window when could get them.

“They did 3.7t/ha, which we were very pleased with.”

However, the combine had made a real mess of some of the fields, he added. “We haven’t planted anything yet, and it needs to dry out a lot before we can. There are one or two challenges left yet.”

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