This crop was drilled this spring into ploughed up grassland. It is now just poking through the soil.

Red wheat is a new crop to us. It is grown for breadmaking and will hopefully end up in Hovis loaves. It is low yielding but requires less nitrogen and is earlier to harvest than traditional wheats.

It had the advantage to us that we were able to graze cattle on this land until about Christmas time. Cows are easier and cheaper to keep outside so long as the weather does not become too severe. When the weather improved the land was ploughed to prepare it for the new crop. Because of the cows and ploughing in the grass the organic matter content in the soil will be higher than usual for our land. This means that moisture will be retained better in the soil and be available for crop growth.

It should be ready to harvest at the end of July, which is two or three weeks earlier that the rest of our wheat crop.

We had the combine out this week to combine Uncle Andrew`s borage at Monckton Walk. This should have been harvested last autumn but due to the bad weather it never ripened enough. The birds had a good feed on the crop over winter but there was seed left to harvest.

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