Farmers are pressing on with harvest today (25 July), with showers forecast for many parts of the country this weekend.

Adrian Howell started cutting Astrid oilseed rape at 7% moisture last night in Sutton Bridge, Lincs. “It is 11% moisture today but we’re pressing on because it talks of rain,” he said. “Quality looks promising and yield is very pleasing at 4.5t/ha (1.8t/acre).”

In North Weald, Essex, Andrew Kerr had finished harvesting his barley, and was waiting for the rape to ripen. “Barley yields seem to be fairly reasonable at 6.2-8.6t/ha (2.5-3.5t/acre) – and in West Essex there doesn’t seem to be much left to cut,” he said. His 17ha (42 acres) of Pearl grown for seed averaged 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “We’re quite pleased with that.”

Komando pods

Although Mr Kerr said rape yields in the area were poor, further south in Hampshire Tim Sykes was very pleased with his Komando, yielding 4.5t/ha (1.85t/acre) with an oil content of 45.7%.

Winter barley and oilseed rape were both yielding well at Peter Francesconi’s Dean Farm, Ashford, Kent. His Pearl and Cassata barley averaged slightly better than last year at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), and the Castille rape was better than expected at over 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).

In Corsham, Wilts, James Stafford had started his Astrid oilseed rape, which looked very patchy and was averaging 2.7t/ha (1.1t/acre) so far.