An inch of rain last night has further frustrated efforts to get combining in Northern Ireland.

Graham Furey said conditions were getting very wet underfoot at Castleview Farm, Killyleagh, Co.Down.

“The whole place is a mess this morning – we’ve had a lot of rain this week and there’s flooding everywhere. We haven’t combined anything for a fortnight.

“People are getting very worried now – they are not forecasting any settled weather, and if it doesn’t dry up it’s just going to turn out like last year.”

Fortunately, a lot of the wheat and spring barley was not yet fit, but some crops had been sprayed off for around 10 days and needed to be combined soon, he said.

“It’s not taking a tremendous amount of damage, but the straw is starting to break.”

Winter barley, oats and oilseed rape were almost finished in the area, and yields were down on last year, said Mr Furey.

His Saffron, Pearl and Retriever averaged 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre), while the Castille and Flash oilseed rape yielded 3.1t/ha (1.25t/acre).

With strong demand for straw, he had baled even the rapeseed straw, adding some much-needed value to the crops.

Mr Furey now had 40ha (100 acres) of spring barley and 80ha (200 acres) of wheat to cut, some of which was still two to three weeks away from ripening.

Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: Castille and Flash
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: 3.1t/ha (1.25t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Pearl, Saffron and Retriever
Area: 30ha (75 acres)
Yield: 6.8t/ha (2.75t/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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