After an impressive performance that will be remembered as “one of the best crops of winter barley we’ve grown”, Ben Hipperson’s KWS Orwell has helped ensure harvest 2019 proves to be another successful year.
Grown for seed on behalf of SB Agriculture near King’s Lynn, this is Mr Hipperson’s second year producing KWS Orwell and with another solid performance, he intends to sow it again this autumn for harvest 2020.
“It’s an easy variety to grow and produced a pleasant sample with a bold grain. It has stiff straw which was fortunate during the heavy rains of June: when other crops around us fell over, KWS Orwell stood tall. It has also been cheap to grow. It has good disease resistance which buys you some flexibility in application timing. With three fungicides and 167kg N/ha split across two applications it has yielded well from not a lot of investment.”
A base fertiliser of phosphate, potash and sulphur was applied soon after drilling finished on 15th September last year while a routine herbicide programme concluded field activities until the spring.
“It is one of the best crops of winter barley we’ve grown. It definitely has the edge on KWS Cassia which I thought was a good variety. Importantly for us, there is plenty of good quality straw. If you’re looking for a high-yielding conventional variety, my experience suggests KWS Orwell would be a good choice,” he says.
“We need varieties that deliver consistent performances and KWS Orwell has done that across two seasons. I had no hesitation in agreeing to grow it again for next season. The yield has been good relative to previous performance while the straw has been sold to a neighbouring pig unit. The gross margin has been rewarding,” he adds.