Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sunsetting on Harvest

Well harvest was finally wrapped up on Sunday 9th September this year in a very dusty crop of wheat.  The final crops we harvested were very poor yielding with low grain weights that disappointed us all.  There were plenty of ears there but very little grain within and what grain was there didn't fill very well.  I think it was a mixture of lots of different causes this year from the lack of sunlight through the final growing part of the year (June-July); also the very high levels of disease that have plagued the crops though a high rainfall year.  Looking back we were finding septoria in the crop coming through the winter, (which was fairly mid), so there was plenty of innoculum within the crop and then even with a robust fungicide strategy control was poor, with the prolonged wet period.
I guess there were a few high lights to harvest and what it has demonstrated to me is the need to spread the risks around by having different soil types and a proper rotation which allows spring and winter cropping.  The spring barley crops have done well and so far all has been accepted by Molson Coors and the germination has remained good, even with a late harvest.  The oilseed rape has yielded very well considering the year which is encouraging.  I also think that we shouldn't take this year in isolation from a cultivations, cropping or crop protection angle.  I know climate change will through a few curve balls for us to deal with in the future but wouldn't a nice easy harvest make a pleasant change?

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