Harvest Review 2023

2023 Harvest Review

What a difference to 2022 harvest!

For combinable crops - we started on the same day, only a year on and finished only a week later. Given the weather we encountered this is a huge achievement and this is mostly due to a great harvest team. Patience, perseverance, and commitment are the best words to describe how we did it!

It started to rain only a few days into harvest and never really stopped for any sensible amount of time. Potato harvest was equally as frustrating but thankfully we beat the worst of the weather.

Overall and perhaps compared to some; yields and quality have generally been pleasing.


Unlike 2022, wheat yields were less consistent in 2023. A small area of poorer performing second wheat and spring wheat can soon penalise an average yield. Thankfully the areas were small and our first wheat yielded an impressive 10.62 t/ha. The variety Skyscraper is attractive on yield but is slipping on its septoria strength and may not feature again. Typhoon looks to be a good variety on the Wolds for drilling early.


A nice early start to winter barley harvest was promising, but that was quickly terminated by rain the next day! Frustratingly barley straw took six weeks to bale because of the constant showers, and that was even with the purchase of a new ‘woofler’. That said yields of six-row hybrid to start were certainly impressive exceeding 10.6 t/ha. An estimate would put yield reduction at 0.5 t/ha within two days of starting harvest due to heavy rains. A mix of six-row and convention two-row gave us an average yield of 10.16 t/ha.

Spring barley was the disappointing cereal to us but look at the growing season spring barley had!


Unlike 2020 and 2021, yields this year came in slightly more consistent. Another year of trialling second Rye and yields were higher than previously experienced.

Rye continues to be a strong crop for us with relatively low input costs compared to our other cereals, plus it sits well in the rotation and harvest calendar. The large quantity of straw from a Rye crop is beneficial to the cattle enterprise and the grain suits pig feed.

Oilseed Rape

Having lost a small area of oilseed rape during autumn establishment to cabbage stem flea beetle; expectations of a bumper harvest were already suppressed. None the less and given the season yields were better than expected, with an average 3.64 t/ha.

Amazingly it was the latest drilled crops, established in mid-September that yielded the best. It will be our last year of growing the stalwart variety Extrovert.

With the worry of thunderstorms close to harvest and the continued poor weather; amazingly oilseed rape was the crop we combined the driest.

Vining Peas and Beans

What looked like a dry and early spring turned into a wet and late drilling period. Once drilled the peas established well and at the time could have done with some rain! Harvest was staggered but yields were pleasing and exceeded budgets.

Since the opening of the new factory, it has expanded the area on which we can now grow peas. This year we grew peas on virgin pea ground at Givendale, giving excellent yields and a good view for the viner drivers!

Sadly, the vining beans weren’t worth harvesting therefore hang in the balance for the future. Thankfully pea yields went some way to make up for the lack of beans.


A late and frustrating planting season due to the weather saw the seed enterprise suffer resulting in yields on and below average across varieties. None the less quality is pleasing and harvest wasn’t too late or messy!

Once again the Melody pre-pack crop did well with excellent quality.