Archive Article: 2002/09/06

6 September 2002

Spotlight on north barometer

Bearing in mind flood damage to her Yorks land two seasons ago and lack of summer sunshine, Catherine Thompson is pleasantly surprised at this harvests outcome.

"Weve had a good average year with barley doing 3t/acre and wheat a good 3.5t/acre across the whole farm."

Combining at Holme House, Holme on Spalding Moor, ended last Friday – encouragingly early. "We generally finish between Sept 5 and 10. We hardly had three dry days in a row, so we often worked late into the night."

A neighbours combine backed up the farms 13-year-old New Holland 8080 in the final phases.

"We had no problems at all. But we had to be patient to cut under 18% moisture."

Star crop was Claire winter wheat off heavy land.

To create storage space 250t has been sold to a local compounder, for £55.50/t after haulage.

Some Consort first wheat on heavy ground disappointed after uncontrolled ryegrass took its toll. However, one Sept 8 drilling gave an estimated 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre). As expected, sown Dec 8 after roots it did only 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre).

"I am glad we didnt cut the early seed rate too far on the heavy land. We stayed with 225 seeds/sq m rather than the 150 recommended by ADAS. The dry spring knocked a lot of tillers off."

Her return to oats, 28ha of Gerald, proved a surprise. "I cant believe how well they have done. We caught them on an amazingly dry day at 11.7% moisture and they have done well over 3t/acre. The bushel weight is 51.7kg/hl, so they should go for milling."

Good cereal results have helped offset earlier disappointment with winter oilseed rape. The all Fortress crop yielded only 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) due to poor establishment, says Mrs Thompson.

"It had lots of bald patches. We were clearly still suffering structural damage from the floods of 2000/01."

For the first time some straw has been sold in the swath for covering carrots. "It avoids having to bale it ourselves, and I reckon I can use the money to buy what I need for the pigs in the spring. It effectively buys us time," she says.

SpotHarvest home at Holme House in Yo

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