Seed all bought in
LOSS of all home-saved seed crops to the weather and the need to lock in to known outlets have brought big changes in wheat varieties at Grange Farm.
"We were going to use mostly Riband, Soissons and some Abbot. But in the end I had to buy in everything and we have gone quite heavily for quality, mainly Abbot, Malacca and Charger, the latter replacing Soissons for its earliness. But we will also have some Riband. It has done us well and we cant drop it yet."
Most of the quality area is under contracts with premiums of £18, £20 and £10/t over feed respectively. "Its a gamble, because I know a lot of other people are going the same way." Big yields would put quality standards under increasing pressure as millers could pick and chose from higher volumes, he explains.
The end-market approach is continued off-farm with Regina malting barley taking over from feed types. But at Grange Farm Muscat remains the mainstay. "It has been so reliable. We nearly always get near 4t/acre and it has the best bushel weight of the six-rows."
Winter peas, despite their troubles this year, will remain part of the rotation. But winter linseed is being dropped. "I am not saying never again, but I just feel we have been growing too many crops."
Press design has had plenty of attention lately at Grange Farm.