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Despite the recent rain some growers across the country are finishing harvest. Reports are showing wheat yields and qualities were varied for some.
Shropshire farmer Bruce Udale said: “We should be starting harvest now, not finishing. You can’t expect a crop to do its fullest if it’s a fortnight early.”
Wheat yields were down 0.6t/ha (0.25t/ac) on last year due to the drought, and grain was shrivelled on the light land.
“It would have been a very good year if we had rain as we had plenty of plants and heads.”
Stephen Ellerbeck in Cambridge said harvest had been satisfactory but Malacca wheat had been worst affected by the dry spell. “The variety doesn’t cope with the drought. It could be dropped by many growers this year.”
However, harvest went well for Kent farmer Jonathan Tipples. Einstein wheat did very well yielding 7.5t/ha (3t/ac) to over 10t/ha (4t/ac) on the better crops. Quality was “fantastic” with high bushel weights of over 80kg/hl and high protein levels and Hagbergs.
He said many people in the area had finished harvest with only the very big farms still cutting.
Scottish Borders grower Stuart Fuller-Shapcott was ready to start cutting wheat, which would be very early for Scotland. He said harvest was going too quickly and crops were changing fast.
“I don’t think the crops will be affected by the early timing considering how the spring barley performed. But this will change if we get a downpour this week.”
He was very pleased with spring barley yielding an average 6.25t/ha (2.5t/ac) but he said nitrogen levels were a little high.
See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.