Harvest update: Malmesbury Monitor Farm

Up to date we’ve had no records but no disasters either. Our winter barley did about 3.25 tonnes per acre; OSR probably about 1.4 which is less than some people but we had problems establishing it last autumn. Winter wheat: we peaked at around 11 tonnes a hectare, but overall our average I think will be around 10 tonnes which, given the strange weather patterns for the last year, I don’t think we can complain about.

Our OSR took a little bit of drying. It came off at 10 or 11 per cent moisture. All the wheat had to be dried. We took our wettest off at about 10 per cent moisture and the driest at about 16.5. So unfortunately it’s going to cost us a few pounds. But the important thing is that we got it in the barn in fairly good conditions.

We started planting oilseed rape today (24 August 2017) which is about normal time – we usually aim for bank holiday weekend.

The variety is Dariot. It’s the first post-neonic variety from DSV. I’m not sure what that really means but I felt it was worth a try.

We’ve still got about 65 acres spring barley to harvest. If the weather holds, this will hopefully be in the barn by Sunday evening.

Then it’s just the beans. They were sprayed with Reglone yesterday to kill a fwe unwanted weeds in the bottom of the crop. The end is in sight!

Roger Wilson

Roger Wilson

Roger Wilson farms in partnership with his brother Peter at Lower Odd Farm in Wiltshire. They have 170 ha owned land plus10 ha rented grassland. The arable rotation is flexible, incorporating winter wheat, oilseed rape, spring beans, winter and spring barley as well as grass leys. All crops are dried and stored on-farm. The farm has a beef herd which are fed home-grown cereals. Key challenges for the farm are the threat of ryegrass, inconsistent bean yields, rape establishment, pyrethroid resistance and managing the farm’s heavier soils. During the three years of the Monitor Farm programme, Roger would like to address topics including succession, soil management and the evaluation of variable rate fertilisers.

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