Bruce Udale has cut just over 40ha of winter wheat at Eyton House Farm, Telford, Shropshire, and is just making a start on some more this morning (19 August).
“One plus point is that bushel weights are good, with everything over 73kg/hl and most at 76-78kg/hl,” he said.
“But yields are no good on the light land – the dry, hot weather we had earlier in the summer burnt the crops off prematurely.”
So far yields were between 7.4t and 8t/ha, compared to a usual average of 8.6t/ha, said Mr Udale. “But we’ve got more Diego and some Grafton ready on some heavier land, which should be a bit better.”
Straw yields were not exciting, but it was selling well, at £148-173/ha in the swath.
With only 162ha of wheat in the ground – half the normal acreage – Mr Udale had a lot of spring crops to cut instead.
“We’ve got spring barley, which we don’t normally grow but doesn’t look too bad, and some spring oats that look alright, too,” he said.
Winter oats yielded close to the farm average, at 7.4t/ha. “They had a good bushel weight as well.”
But oilseed rape was all over the place. “We’ve cut two good fields, which we managed to drill early, and they yielded about 3.7t/ha – slightly below our normal average of 4.4t/ha,” said Mr Udale.
“But we’ve got some bad crops left to cut – there is some really rubbish rape in Shropshire, with thin stands, pigeon damage and lots of weeds. I doubt we’ll average more than 2.5t/ha across the farm.”
Mr Udale had also just started drilling Vision, Fighter and PR46W21 rapeseed into some good seedbeds. “We had 30mm of rain three or four days ago, so it should get off to a good start.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Excalibur, PR46W21 and Compass
Crop: Winter oats