RGT Bairstow delivers after a tricky start in Lincolnshire
Late-drilled crops of RGT Bairstow that went into less-then-ideal conditions delivered some very satisfactory results for Lincolnshire grower Andy Pearce last harvest, cementing the variety’s place on the farm this season.
W A Pearce & Sons, based at Stowgate Farm, Deeping St James, farms 154ha of arable cropping across two tenanted units, one on predominantly black land and the other mainly silt.
About 54ha of winter wheat was grown last year, with the rest split between potatoes, sugar beet, vining peas, oilseed rape and spring cereals.
“We grew approximately 25ha of Bairstow mainly on silt land, all first wheat following sugar beet, potatoes and peas,” says Andy. “Some was drilled in November but then it started to rain and didn’t stop until January, when we managed get the rest in.
“We aimed for 320 plants/m2 in November and 350 plants/m2 in January. Seedbeds weren’t ideal, but all things considered most of the fields came up perfectly well.
“We did lose 5ha, but that was no fault of the variety. It was on some real heavy land that we pushed as we were racing against the rain. The seedbed wasn’t good enough, and there was too much blackgrass by early spring so we fallowed it.
“The rest of the Bairstow came on very well, we had no issues at all. It stayed very clean – its good disease resistance scores were one of the reasons for choosing the variety.”
Despite its late drilling date, the RGT Bairstow certainly made up for lost time. By the time the Crusoe had been cut it was ready to go.
“Crusoe takes priority at harvest. We wanted a feed wheat that would do the job for us and have a slightly later harvesting slot than Crusoe. Bairstow works well, albeit it is usually only a couple of days behind.
“It yielded 7-8 t/ ha which, given the drilling date and conditions, we were happy with. Specific weight was 73.5, which we again thought pretty good, being a low specific weight year.”
This autumn, rather than prioritising potatoes as last season, Andy decided to take a break and drilled about two-thirds of the Bairstow in mid-October.
“We are growing about the same area again this year and it will be interesting to see how it performs,” he says. “We may have to plough and combination drill to get the rest in, but if we get a few days good weather we may be able to finish up as planned.”