Well worked badger sets expose sharp building sand on Builderland farmed by Stephen and Adam Norris near Clare on the Suffolk/Essex border; less than ideal for growing quality winter wheat.
It may, on the other hand, be a suitable proving ground for Hybrid Wheat, which has demonstrated an ability to perform well under challenging conditions. Having tried Hybrid Wheat Hystar as a second wheat on good land last year, Stephen and Adam are growing an increased area on two light land fields this season.
“We grew some 8 ha of Hystar on one of our better fields last year and it did very well, yielding 11.8 t/ha, with only one conventional variety, grown as a first wheat, performing better overall. This year we have 16 ha of Hystar as a second wheat on two sandy fields,” Stephen explained.
The Hystar was drilled on 2 October at a rate of 180 seeds/m2. It has received similar treatment to the other wheat crops but as it is early maturing the spray regime has been two to three weeks earlier, with flag leaf sprays applied on 11 May. This is very useful in spreading the workload, observed Adam Norris, while the early harvest is helpful where oilseed rape is the next crop.
Last season Hystar also produced a high quality crop, with good specific weights and protein of 11.5%. Stephen believes that maintaining a comparatively low seed density may be important in this respect and they look forward to seeing the results of this year’s harvest.