Guy Shelby has almost finished harvest at Benningholme Grange, Beverley, East Yorkshire, but is very disappointed with how it’s gone.
“The weather has put a massive downer on it all,” he said. “Hurricane Bertha hammered the wheat down so that we lost a lot of heads on the floor, and yields in general are down after we had six inches of rain in May.
“Septoria has just crucified the crops. We didn’t make one application of fungicide when there wasn’t water standing in the tramlines.”
Viscount, Diego and Grafton winter wheat yielded about 8.2t/ha – well below average, said Mr Shelby.
“The Diego did the best, but a lot of grain didn’t fill so bushel weights were down at 74kg/hl.”
See also: Sow your winter oats with care.
Having finished combining the wheat last week, Mr Shelby anticipated completing the spring barley tomorrow (9 September). “It was cloudy all last week and wet on Saturday – Holderness in general has really had a disappointing harvest.”
The rain hadn’t helped with baling straw or drilling, he added. “We’ve got 400ha to bale, but every time you turn it it rains again. At least it’s good for blackgrass growth in the stubbles.”
Farmers still had a lot of wheat to cut in the area, with plenty more left further north, said Mr Shelby. “There’s still water lying on the fields so we haven’t drilled much oilseed rape.
“Hopefully we’ll get it in once the straw is cleared – thank goodness I’m direct drilling, as where people are ploughing it doesn’t look nice.”