As wide-spread showers frustrate growers across the UK, yields continue to please.
Leicestershire grower, Chris Tolley, who farms just north of Loughborough has topped his farm’s five-year winter wheat average with KWS Siskin and Skyscraper.
He says: “They are yielding very well for us at 11-12 tonnes/hectare. Specific weight is good too at high 70s to early 80s (kg/hl) and we were fortunate enough to cut at 14 per cent moisture before the rain hit.”
Winter barley also gave good yields averaging 10t/ha, while the winter OSR, which was heavily knocked by flea beetle averaged 3.3t/ha.
However, Mr Tolley says he will give the crop one more chance, although the wet weather has created unfavourable drilling and harvest conditions.
He says: “It’s a wait and see situation whether or not the OSR gets sown. Harvest-wise the colder weather isn’t helping and Wednesday (August 14) looks wet. The forecast ahead to the end of August doesn’t look great either.”
Near Cambridge, the wet weather has put harvest on pause for Dan Attle who is almost half way through. So far yields are good.
He says: “Winter barley yields were at 7.9-8.4t/ha, which I was pleased with considering how dry it was – I thought it would struggle.
"We had a few bits that really dried out, but it didn’t pull the average down much at all. It was our first year growing KWS Orwell and I’ve been really pleased.”
Mascani oats yielded 7.4t/ha with a bushel weight of 48kg/hl, while spring barley averaged 8.7t/ha, but the bushel weight was ‘a little low’, says Mr Attle.
With strong winds and rain over the weekend, wheat harvest is yet to take off, but it has stayed standing.
Mr Attle says: “The wind doesn’t seem to have knocked wheat around too much – I cut most of my oats and barley so I was glad they were in the shed. We only cut a headland of wheat before the rain hit.
“Looking at the forecast I don’t think much combining will go on this week at all, but if we’re done by the end of August we’ll be happy.”
Starting on milling wheat last weekend (August 10-11), although the weather is catchy, Ben Sykes, who farms near Tadcaster in North Yorkshire is pleased with performance so far.
As the weekend ended, he had cut 90ha – not quite half way through.
“A week ago the progress [due to the weather] was terrible but now we are in a lot better position than we were. We have been working between the showers to get wheat in before we lose the Hagbergs.
“With Zyatt we are seeing good yields of around 11t/ha. Even the second wheats are doing very well. Moistures are above where we would like but last night they were 15.7 per cent which is not horrendous.”
For winter barley, harvest results from 15 AHDB Recommended Lists trials sites show the average treated yield of control varieties (9.98t/ha) is close to the five-year average (10.02t/ha).