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Nelson German E-Wheat|Gerald Osborne in a field of Nelson wheat

Strong UK market credentials for organic Nelson German E-wheat

High yields and early harvest

Wiltshire farmer, Gerald Osborne, has been growing Nelson winter German E wheat organically for six years, on account of its strong yields, superb grain quality and early harvest.

Gerald is a mixed organic farmer, with a 364 hectare farm, and grows 15 hectares of Nelson in his rotation alongside ancient grains spelt, einkorn, emmer, and rye on contract to organic flour specialist Doves Farm Foods Ltd. He also farms beef cattle, laying hens and pigs.

“I initially contacted organic seed specialists Cope Seeds and Grain because I wanted a reliable strong yielding winter wheat and we first planted Nelson in 2015. 

“It’s consistently yielded well and has so far met milling wheat spec for Doves Farm, who use it in their plain and self-raising flour blends,” he says.

Gerald explains that Nelson ripens early, which suits his rotation well. “This year we harvested Nelson on 26 July, which is well before any other wheat would ripen around here. Because we don’t grow winter barley, it’s a great crop to start out with, ahead of harvesting our specialist crops which require a timely harvest.

“It’s yielded between 4.32 and 4.9t/ha over the years and it also has a decent straw length which we use for the livestock,” adds Gerald.

Michael Marriage, Doves Farm co-founder, is happy with Nelsons performance. “For UK wheat varieties, we look for crops which give a good yield, a bold grain, and a good Hagberg falling number. 

“Nelson seems to be a good performer and Gerald is happy with it, it mills well and we always try to source our grain locally if we can.” 

Organic Nelson is a dual-purpose variety suitable for milling and feed. It’s a German E-Quality Milling variety (the best rating available) which combined with superb grain quality and extremely high specific weights means that millers are readily accepting the variety.

It’s a tall winter hardy variety with a stiff straw and is highly suited to organic farming.