Carl Gray of Grange Farm, Bredon, Tewkesbury, is celebrating all time high organic wheat yields, having yielded 7.3t/ha. (2.96t/acre) of Group 3 wheat, Invicta.
The 12.5 ha field of Invicta was combined on 31st August using a John Deer 1177; and is the highest of any yields taken off the 120ha of organic cereals grown on the farm for the last decade. ’I would normally expect to get about 6.17t/ha off the organic wheats and this is the average from the fields of Claire that I harvested at the same time, so I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw the higher yields coming off the Invicta.’
’I think the success of this crop comes down to it going in after three years of pasture and white clover, and good establishment conditions. The medium loam soils were ploughed, cultivated and then drilled on the 12 October at 185kg/ha, 46TGW.’
’The crop established well, and did not suffer during the winter, the snow seemed to insulate the crop from frost damage. The field was treated in the same way as the others, and being an organic crop of course did not have any nitrogen or fungicides.’
’The late spring rains in May into June seemed to come at just the right time, and the crop took off from there really.’
Ron Granger, wheat breeder at Limagrain, the breeders of Invicta, confirms that yield results from Invicta over the last two seasons have been outstanding: ’Considering the prolonged dry springs that we have had, Invicta’s performance has been consistently high and I would put this down to a big grain size and an ability to hold onto tillers longer into the spring.’
’By holding onto tillers later into the spring, slightly later developing varieties such as Invicta, are better able to tolerate the drier conditions and are in a position to respond to later rains, whereas early varieties tend to lose their tillers early on and then struggle to catch up when conditions are dry.’