Stewart Hayllor farms 343ha
(850 acres) of owned and
rented land from Blackler
Barton, Landscove, Devon,
growing cereals and
combinable breaks. Organic
vegetables occupy 24ha
(60 acres) and a further
160ha (400 acres) is farmed
ITS always a pleasant problem when the last trailer load of canola (aka oilseed rape) wont fit into the bin reserved for the crop.
After drying, yield was 4.3t/ha (35cwt/acre), with the added bonus of 27 round bales of straw/ha.
There was little to choose between Pronto and Gemini in terms of yield or ease of harvest. No desiccant was used and we direct cut, losing a few seeds from top pods that were starting to shed but lower down the crop was barely fit. Moisture levels started at 16% but dropped to 11% by the time we finished.
The small area of Hanna winter barley was unsurprisingly not very good, yielding only 5.6t/ha (2.2t/acre) at 15% moisture. At least no drying was needed.
Searching the farm for something else to cut, I tried our fittest field of wheat. The moisture was more suitable for crimping at 28% but the two trailer loads taken have given us an idea of what is to come. Once dried, it looks to be yielding 8t/ha (3.2t/acre) with a bushel weight of 78kg/hl. Now we must wait for crops to ripen naturally.
Organic Cosmos potatoes have all been topped off to get their skins to set. However, that didnt stop them growing so we followed up with a flame burner that also has the benefit of killing the weeds that appear once the foliage has been removed. Test digs suggest up to 29t/ha (12t/acre).
Organic brassicas, calabrese, cauliflower and cabbage have established well. So far we have had none of the cut-worm damage that decimated large areas last year. Leeks are growing well, but so too are the weeds giving us a lot of work hand weeding.
After problems earlier in the year with poor delivery service from Agrovista, I have to say, sticking with them and my local rep Guy Peters for the majority of our agrochemicals has paid off. He assured me things would get better and they certainly have with an excellent service more recently. *