Yields disappoint in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire grower Colin Rayner said he was pleased to have finished cutting winter wheat 10 days ago before the weather broke. He still had 60ha (50ac) of grain maize to cut in late October and had just finished cutting spring oilseed rape.

“Disappointing is not the word to use. Spring rape did not come to a great deal at all.”

Soissons and Claire winter wheat were also very disappointing averaging less than 7t/ha (2.8t/ac) from 480ha (1200ac). Protein levels were low but Hagbergs were good.

“The crops were affected purely by the drought in July. We cut it before it rained so there was no rain damage but it doesn’t show from the quality.”

Mr Rayner also had two combine fires and multiple arson attacks from local environmentalists. “A lot of money has been involved which is concerning.”

He was currently preparing to drill oilseed rape, and was combining hemp and canary seed on a neighbouring farm. He said the crops did not look very good.

“It has been one of the easiest harvests from the good weather but one of the most dangerous through the fire risk and the long hours to get done in very hot conditions. It has been mentally challenging.”

He also ran an 8ha (20ac) maize maze, which he said had been very rewarding because every member of the public had been pleasant and enjoyed it.

But, he added: “If you think farming is difficult, try doing something you have never done before and you realise you should be glad to be a farmer.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Varieties: Soissons and Claire
• Area: 480ha (1200ac)
• Yield: less than 7t/ha (2.8t/ac)

See more