Combine harvester in a fieldAndrew Gloag is a third of the way through his 607ha crop in North Yorkshire.

As harvest is being rounded off in the South and combines are packed away, further north growers are getting into the thick of the wheat harvest with only average grain yields.

In the Scottish Borders, wheats are coming off reasonably dry but yields are all over the place for Stuart Fuller-Shapcott, near Sweethope, Kelso.

The first field was reasonable at about 9.7t/ha but there is still some 162ha left to combine.

Mr Fuller-Shapcott has also harvested his winter oats, which did not do too badly, although his spring oats are not ready yet.

“Things are running quite well. It is not a bumper harvest but it is not a disaster by any means,” he says.

See also: Harvest 2016: Pulse yields and quality are variable

Nearby, Jack Parsons has finished his winter barley and oilseed rape at Mertoun Estate, near St Boswells, and has started on his winter wheat.

“Barley and rapeseed were very disappointing in terms of yield, and specific weights were particularly poor, but the oats went much better. 

“The crops looked like they had good potential but then we got the combine in and they have not fulfilled that,” he says.

Mr Parsons is about a fifth of the way through his wheat crop, with yields coming in just average, and 550ha is still left to cut.

“The one advantage is that we have hardly had to do any drying, with the wheat only needing a little drying,” he says.

Wheat harvesting in Yorkshire

Further south, wheat harvesting is well under way for Andrew Gloag, who is a third of the way through his 607ha crop at Busby House Farm, Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

“There is still a fair bit to do but so far what we have dried and put into the store has yielded around 10.1t/ha. This is a far cry from last year but is near the rolling average for the farm,” he says.

So far he has combined Costello, Lili and is now into Revelation, with  the rest of the wheat looking encouraging. Specific weights are about 76-77kg/hl with moisture content at 16%.

Mr Gloag has also finished winter barley and oilseed rape which both yielded about 1t/ha down on last year.

The winter barley yielded at worst 6.91t/ha and at best 8.64t/ha, while the rapeseed averaged about 3.2t/ha, with the best field coming in at 4.2t/ha.

“It was disappointing compared with what we target as an achievable yield, particularly compared with the cost of production.

“The rapeseed seeds were very small, and as yield was well below average, I am not anticipating fantastic oils,” he says.

All finished in Shropshire

The combine has been packed away for the year for Bruce Udale at Eyton House Farm, Telford, Shropshire. Mr Udale’s oilseed rape was not particularly good and his oats came in below average yield.

“But the wheat was very good. We had quite a bit of continuous wheat which was Grafton and that yielded 9.1t/ha, while the first wheats averaged 9.4t/ha,” he says.

The farm does trials for distribution and agronomy group Zantra and it was seeing yields of 11.6t/ha, while Mr Udale says he has had a generally easy, dry and low fuel consuming harvest.

In Gloucestershire, harvest has generally gone very well for Chris Padfield at The Hawthorns, Staunton.

Mr Padfield grew two varieties of wheat, Dickens and Lili.

“Lili out-yielded the Dickens but some of the Dickens was badly affected by barley yellow dwarf virus, so overall they averaged 9.1t/ha at 15% moisture, which was pleasing,” he says.

Mr Padfield also grew two varieties of oilseed rape, Harnas and Incentive.

“I am going to ditch the Harnas as the yield was appalling. Between them they averaged 3.1t/ha when normally I would expect 4.4t/ha,” he says.