It’s in the barn!

By Peter Lundgren, The Farmer

The field of wheat has been harvested and the wheat is in the barn!

I had a busy day on Wednesday . The day was a bit overcast to start with but the sun came out and a strong drying wind quickly brought the moisture content down to acceptable levels. The combine arrived at about midday – along with Ruth and Emily and a BBC Radio Lincolnshire reporter to record the event – and the whole field of wheat was harvested and in the barn by teatime; and the straw was chopped behind the combine leaving the field strangely empty.

The crop looked good going into the combine but I think we will be below the predicted yield of 80 tons – probably about 70 tons is in the barn but that depends on the bushel weight. Openfield came today for a sample of the wheat and hopefully we will have an idea of the quality and a price by the end of next week.

Early thoughts are that the lower than predicted yield is due to the lack of sunshine during May and June and probably not due to the reduced nitrogen applications. We will have a better idea when the crop samples come back along with analysis of the protein levels which will indicate if sufficient nitrogen has been made available to the wheat plants at the crucial grain filling period.

As well as the soil sampling undertaken by Tom and the crop analysis by Daniel I’ve had the University of Lincoln taking samples of the crop and soil to analyse a number of factors including soil microbiology. At this time the microbiology soil samples are in a minus 80 degree freezer awaiting the return of Professor Goddard to do his DNA sampling from which he can identify the type and quantity of micro-organisms in the soil. And I’m waiting for Thor, a prototype robotic sampling machine, to come and take further soil samples for in depth analysis. By the time all this sampling is finished Middle Field will be one of the most analysed fields in the country!

Please feel free to read through questions and responses from the Field of Wheat collective members and the Farmer.