Date: 09/2022

The summer heatwave led to one of the earliest harvests I can remember, yields were generally good in winter wheat and a bit more variable in OSR and winter barley, varieties performing well in the hot dry weather may well point to an ability to cope better in these conditions going forward. Our new hard group 4 feed variety Champion delivered on its yield potential and tops the AHDB recommended list again this year

The early finish to the cereal harvest meant there was an opportunity to establish OSR in good time but a lack of rainfall put a brake on drilling with potential seed beds and soil conditions too dry to drill into. Most had to wait until mid-August for any significant rain which was very localised when it did arrive with some areas only receiving a few millimeters and others 70mm plus.

Our trial site at Flawborough was one of the lucky ones and the race was on to get seed from Germany for the 1000 plots of OSR,The seed arrived one day was prepared for drilling and drilled  and rolled the next day, even then the 70mm of rain from 5 days earlier had started to dry out..Enough rain followed in the week after drilling to give the trials a good start, establishment has been good with little pressure from flea beetle initially but numbers have increased as we moved through to mid-September which generally seems to be when the peak in numbers is reached. No insecticide has been applied just some fertilizer to help early growth and with the plants now mostly 3 to 4 leaf and growing they can cope with some grazing on the leaf

Of the 1000 plots sown there are 12 individual trials including work on nitrogen use efficiency, CSFB, companion cropping, varietal screening and inter row hoeing, there will be regular updates on the progress of the work as the season progresses..

Attention now turns to the preparation and planning for cereal drilling in early October.

Envirofield drilling our WOSR plots
OSR emerging in one of the companion crops drilled 10 days earlier