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Winter wheat shows promise



Although initial barley and oilseed rape (OSR) harvest results have left growers underwhelmed, winter wheat may be the ’silver lining’.

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While rain stopped play for a short-period last week, there was progress with barley and OSR harvest over the weekend, with variable results.


Gloucester farm manager, Peter Hewson says: “Winter barley for feed has yielded ok at about 7.5t/ha. Bushel weights were down, ranging between 59 and 61, but still saleable without too many problems.


“OSR Is all over the place. Light land was on par with our average for light land at 3.5t/ha. Heavy land was disappointing down to 2t/ha from the 4.2t/ha farm average.


See also: Harvest Gallery 2016 - How’s your harvest going? #MyFGHarvest


“This has spent a lot of the growing season with its roots being wet, stressing the crop for long periods.”


South Lincolnshire farmer Chris Donnington achieved 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre) with his high oleic low linolenic OSR variety.


He says: “1.5t/acre is an average yield, but taking into account what others have been saying, I am happy with it.”


While OSR and barley yields remain lacklustre, winter wheat results are showing some promise.


As one of the first to delve into winter wheat, Essex grower and NFU vice president, Guy Smith was pleased with his first wheat sample.


“We cut some Skyfall on July 27 which was 15 per cent moisture. Yields were 10 to 20 per cent above average.


“I am very pleased with that but the downside is the extra yield has diluted the protein to 12 per cent. It was nice and bold with a bushel weight around 80kg.”


East midlands agronomist Graham Johnson reports that many farmers in his area are considering glyphosate to control weeds and to reduce green material in wheat crops prior to harvest.


“It won’t bring the harvest forward, but it will dry out any green that is there and can benefit grain moisture,” he says.


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