Variable spring barley

3 September 2001

Variable spring barley

CHARLIE WATSON SMYTH, who farms at Padstow in North Cornwall, has had a variable spring barley crop on very light land, “In May and June we hardly had any rain and it just burnt up.” He expects to finish in two days.

Chariot spring barley has yielded in the range of 3.1-7.5t/ha (1.25-3t/acre) according to the combine monitor. “It has probably averaged a shade under 2t/acre (5t/ha).” Five year average for the farm is between 5-6.2t/ha (2-2.25t/acre).

He hopes it will make malting quality, but says there is some poor quality of spring barley in the area so there may not be enough for a boat out from Truro. “The bushel is good around 70Kg/hl off the heavier crops, but the nitrogen from the first 50t was on the higher side at 1.88%.”

Madrigal winter wheat was combined in the first two weeks of August. “It yielded 55 cwt/acre (6.8t/ha), which is not bad for 30 year continuous wheat. The bushel was 82Kg/hl and it went straight off for poultry feed at 80/t.”

“Harvest has been better than it could have been, but I would have hoped for more.”

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