Harvest is progressing well in County Armagh, where John Best is hoping to finish cutting winter wheat today (6 September).

“We’ve had a record number of consecutive dry days’ combining – we’ve been cutting solidly for 13 days,” he said.

Yields at Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass, had been much better than Mr Best had expected in the spring, with wheat averaging about 6.8t/ha.

Although he hadn’t grown any winter barley at home, neighbours reckoned it had been the crop of the year.

“Winter oats have done alright, but later-sown spring barley has done better than the early-drilled fields,” he added.

Target winter wheat had probably out-yielded the Leeds, Diego and Oakley at Acton House Farm, said Mr Best. “It’s all got a great sample and is a lovely colour.”

After the wheat he had spring oats, spring rape and a little bit of spring barley to finish. “We’ve also got some beans, which are very green. We sprayed them off today and they haven’t podded as well as I’d like.”

Spring rape was seven to 10 days off, and didn’t look very exciting, he added. “We ripped up our winter rape, but a neighbour’s did quite well considering how thin it had been earlier in the year – it averaged 3-3.7t/ha.”

Spring oat straw remained very green, and farmers still had about half their spring barley left to cut in the area, said Mr Best.

“But it’s been a tremendous summer; the ground is in great shape and the oilseed rape is drilled into good conditions. It’s going very well.”