Remaining a firm favourite for many growers this coming season, Skyfall is still going strong eight years after it was first launched. We catch up with Growers Club member Adrian Taylor to see how his crop performed this harvest.
· A J & M Taylor, Clattercote Priory Farm, Claydon, Oxfordshire
· Area farmed – 170ha plus 580ha on contract
· Soils – silty clay loam, clay loam
· Skyfall – 120ha
· Drilled end September/beginning October
· First wheat
A clean sweep of full specification milling wheat across 120ha of Skyfall is the highlight of this year’s harvest at Clattercote Priory Farm.
Adrian Taylor has been growing Skyfall for six years and it continues to deliver, he says. “It did as well as anything this season. We’ve not broken any records yield wise – we’d normally expect 10t/ha but overall it produced around 8.7t/ha this harvest.
“I’m not sure why – there’s been a lot of talk about lower light levels which may be something to do with it and the wet year won’t have helped. It’s the same for all wheats – it’s not a variety thing.
“However, we managed to get the Skyfall cut in good time and I was really pleased with the quality.”
Protein at 13% was slightly higher than the usual and above the 12.5% the farm usually achieves to meet the minimum spec for Adrian’s Warburtons contract. He suspects the higher protein was probably due to the lower yield, having applied the standard 280-300kg/ha of nitrogen.
Test results also showed healthy Hagbergs and specific weights of 77.8-79.3kg/hl, a great result in a tricky season.
“There was no disease to be seen, which helped,” says Adrian. “We cut back a little on fungicides at T1, but after being caught out a couple of years ago with a very Septoria-prone variety we were careful, and used new technology at T2. We didn’t overspend, but we didn’t cut back too hard either.
“We’ll be growing Skyfall again this season – it’s done us well for years and on this season’s performance I see no reason to change.”