Harvest continues to be hampered in the Midlands, with incessant rain keeping combines at a standstill.

“We have had absolutely diabolical weather,” said Robert Tallis of Frolesworth Lodge, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. “The rain just seems to have settled over the middle of the country.”

He managed to finish his 28ha (70 acres) of Hearty high-erucic acid oilseed rape on Monday (3 August), but hadn’t turned a wheel since.

Fortunately, the 40ha (100 acres) of peas and 60ha (150 acres) of wheat still looked well, and the rape had yielded better than for three or four years, at 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).

“The wheat and peas are only just fit, and they look quite promising – we’re not in desperate straits yet.”

However, many other people in the area were still struggling to combine winter barley and rape, with harvest only about 25% complete, he added.

One farmer near Ashby-de-la-Zouch said his harvest was twice as bad as last year’s, after receiving 174mm of rain in July and August so far, compared with 141mm in the whole of July and August last year.

The peas had gone flat and he was less than a third of the way through barley, and only halfway through rape.

Unfortunately, further rain was on the way, with the Met Office issuing a severe weather warning for today and tomorrow across central and Eastern England.

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Hearty
Area: 28ha (70 acres)
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

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