Cereal crops in the West looking well following recent rainfall

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Winter wheat and barley trial plots showcased at Wynnstay’s Arable Event are looking exceptionally well and showing good yield potential, having been given a boost from the recent rainfall.

Jonathan Baxendale, combinable crop manager at Wynnstay, led the trial plot tours at the event held on 19 June 2019 at Western Park, in Shifnal, Shropshire. Hundreds of growers in attendance were able to view over 40 varieties, including some new additions to the AHDB Recommended Lists for cereals and oilseeds 2019/20 (RL).

“Growers main concern had been the dry spell in April/May” Mr Baxendale said. “But, thanks to the rainfall early June, crops are now looking on track to yield well at harvest and if we continue to have the weather predicted, growers should be rewarded in the shed.”

“Group 4 hard feed wheats, Gleam, Graham and RGT Gravity, are looking particularly well and I would expect them to achieve high yields this year if the weather continues to be favourable.

“Graham in particular is looking on track to perform as predicted on the Recommended List, being the highest yielding group 4 hard for the West, with an excellent septoria resistance rating of 6.9, and good standing power with a score of 8 for lodging with a PGR,” he said.

Mr Baxendale also highlighted standout barley varieties. “Two-row feed barley, Surge, is performing consistently well across various sites, so should have another high-yielding year.

“New hybrid barley, SY Kingsbarn, is also one to keep an eye on. It’s stiffer strawed, with a better specific weight and yields than the current most popular hybrid Bazooka.

“New addition, Valerie, has the highest untreated yield out of all 2-rows and also one of the highest specific weights available. There’s also LG Flynn, the highest yielding 2-row variety in the West, with a very good specific weight and agronomics,” added Mr Baxendale.

Doug Mccowan, farm manager at Woodlands Farm, said crops this year are looking to yield well at harvest, although crop stress was a real concern a few weeks ago.

“Until 1 June, we’d only had eight inches of rain this year. But five inches of rain in the last month has put all our crops in good stead for a predicted hot and dry summer,” said Mr Mccowan.

“There’s a fair amount of yield potential, especially if we get a bit of sunshine to fill the weight between now and harvest.”

Mr Mccowan said he’s particularly happy with his barley and wheat crops across the farm.

“Hybrid barley does really well here. Bazooka and Belmont are looking tremendous and next year, we plan to grow new variety SY Kingsbarn as the trial plots look very good.

“Last year’s harvest started early on 9 July, with crops already on the turn in June due to exceptionally dry weather conditions. This year, I predict we’ll harvest later but at the more usual time of around 20 July – the crops look green and well, so there’s no need to rush, but we do need the weather to stay on our side,” concluded Mr Mccowan.


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