Combines are rolling again in some parts of the country, but some regions are desperately far behind and standing in inches of water.
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In Wiltshire David Butler had drafted in a second combine to help him get more crops in between the showers. “These are the worst weather conditions we have had since 1985,” he said.
“We have got great concerns that the ground is so boggy the combine and tractors will get stuck.”
Richard Burt had measured more than 5” of rain over the past fortnight in Worcestershire, and another 0.5” yesterday (14 August) prevented him from starting his winter wheat.
“We’ve got fields and fields of wheat all stood up beautifully and we can’t get into them.”
But in Dorset JV Farming Ltd’s members had managed to cut 40% of their crops, and were now combining spring barley.
“Yields have been higher than anything so far achieved during our six years together as a Joint Venture, so there is a bright side to it all,” said Nick Finding.
“We are all now hoping that a two week window of dry weather to complete the task isn’t too much to ask,” said Nick Finding.
Mark McFerran finished his harvest three weeks ago in Co. Down, with just winter barley being grown and yielding well above average.
“We managed to get it cut in a dry week, and all the straw baled and in,” he said. “We’re very thankful as a lot of our neighbours haven’t got cutting at all.”
And in Scotland Robert Ramsay was combining rape yesterday (14 August), which he hoped to finish in time to drill next season’s crop before combining the wheat and spring barley.
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high