Harvest latest:Spring bean crops poor


4 September 2001



Harvest latest:Spring bean crops poor


By Tom Hood

AS SOUTHERN farmers move into spring beans, variable yield is beginning to show. In the Scottish Border one farmer has had some good quality milling wheat.

Kent Farmer Clive Apps has frustratingly been stopped from making a start on spring beans due to heavy rain this morning.

“Winter beans look reasonable but spring beans look sparse in what has been a very variable harvest,” he told FARMERS WEEKLY on 4 September.

West Sussex barometer grower Tim Lock combined his Quattro spring beans this week, which had disappointing yields.

“The yield was disastrous. They went in on wet light soil and then dried out completely. They were short and not very good at all.

“Id rather not say wheat they yielded.”

Berkshire Downs Farmer Chris Nash, near Wantage, has had pleasing yields for wheat on chalk land

Feed wheat Savannah has been the main variety of wheat this year. It has yielded 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre), which is above the average 9.3t/ha (3.75t/acre).

Quality wheat Soissons was combined earlier. “This was good with 14% protein, all Hagbergs over 250 and bushel of 79Kg/hl.”

Kent farmer Robert Barr describes his poor harvest, “Awful, the worst ever. We didnt get many winter crops in and the spring crops were a disaster.”

There has been good progress at Mertoun Estates at St Boswells near Kelso. They have started combining Malacca wheat.

Manager Charlie Stewart says, “its very wet. Weve been combining wheat at 20-25% moisture, which means we are using a lot of diesel.”

“Overall we should average 3.25t/acre across all wheat which is slightly below the expected 3.7t/acre average, but considering the seedbeds its done quite well.”

Quality of Malacca is also good. “Hagberg is all over 300 with one recording 430. Protein is 14%. But it is slightly light with specific weight 72-74Kg/hl.”

“Im also surprised at the demand for straw from livestock farmers. I must be getting 10 calls a day from them.”

Dalgetys Darrell Yarwood reports variable wheat yields in the north and Scotland. Wheat quality is better further north.

“Rain and warm weather at the end of July did not affect wheat crops adversely in the far north as they were not ripe. In Yorkshire it came at exactly the wrong time.”



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