Harvest has been on hold for most of the week at Peter Fairs’ farms near Great Tey, Colchester, Essex.
“We had nearly an inch of rain on Tuesday (10 August), and we didn’t do anything at the weekend because of the showers.”
Wheat yields had been disappointing, and were 15% below last year.
“It is not really surprising – the drought has really affected the wheat on the lighter land, but it was a bit disappointing even on the heavy land.”
So far Mr Fairs had cut 400ha (1000 acres) of Viscount, Oakley and Solstice, leaving 800ha (2000 acres) to go.
“The Solstice is not making 13% protein, but it’s over 12.5%. I just hope that after this changeable weather it is not going to harm the Hagberg.”
Oilseed rape was more pleasing, at over 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre), with Cabernet outyielding the Excalibur and Ovation.
Peas were of good quality, but yields were on the low side, he added. Onward and Kabuki came in at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with Prophet at 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre).
Beans, borage, wheat and linseed were now all ripening at once. “Everything is ready – I just want some dry weather to get at it.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Viscount, Oakley and Solstice
Area: 400ha (1000 acres)
Yield: 15% below average
Varieties: Onward and Kabuki
Yield: 7.4t/ha (3t/acre)
Yield: 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre)
Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Cabernet, Excalibur and Ovation
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)
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