Winter Wheat Harvest

August 17, 2017 10:21 am

By Martin Lole
Arable farmer and owner of Springfield Farm, a Mzuri Trial Farm in Pershore, Worcestershire, UK

It’s been another busy start to the month. With rape harvest completed in July, it was the wheat’s turn to bow to the combine.

We started combining on 7th August and finished ten days later with yields coming in just above farm average on strip tillage. It’s been a real snatch start due to the weather but, armed with patience and determination, we managed to get through it with very little drying needed. Wheat after oilseed rape fetched 12.5t/ha whereas corn after linseed only did around 9t/ha – admittedly, through to the fault of my own. It transpires, the second application of Nitrogen has totally skipped my mind in the midst of Cereals distractions and holiday preparations in June.

We normally apply 240-250 units of Nitrogen onto our wheat; unfortunately, the wheat after linseed only had 180 units with the remaining 60 being discovered by my agronomist in the shed post factum. Who could have thought that two bagfuls – next to nothing in cost – would drop my yield by a tonne and a half? An expensive lesson to demonstrate the link between Nitrogen application and yields, and one I will remember!

All in all, however, I can’t complain about this year’s harvest. We have maintained our wheat yield averages and may well have surpassed them if not for my Nitrogen oversight. Considering the limited amount of sunshine we had, it’s nothing to sneer at!

A successful wheat harvest overall, with the farm maintaining its yield average.