Rain thwarting progress

6 August 2001

Rain thwarting progress

HAMPSHIRE farmer Matthew Morton, who farms at Bramdean near Alresford, has finished winter oilseed rape and winter barley.

He is now waiting for the rain to abate so he can start winter wheat and spring barley.

Eighty hectares (200 acres) of Apex and Fortress oilseed rape yielded 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre), above the farm average of 3.5t/ha (1.4t/acre). “It enjoyed the sunshine,” he said.

Winter barley Maris Otter and Regina yielded below average. Maris Otter yielded 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre), “we would expect 2-2.1t/acre (4.9-5.2t/ha).”

Regina yielded 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) and the average is 6.2-6.6t/ha (2.5-2.7t/acre). But the yield was better than expected, following bad winter conditions. “In the spring it was very sick with gaps in it,” he commented.

The nitrogen content is 1.6% for Maris Otter and 1.8% for Regina, the Regina not making malting grade.

They hope to start combining Soissons winter wheat this week. “The problem now is that winter wheat and spring barley may come fit at the same time.” The farm is based on a chalky loam soil.

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