Many farmers are making the most of decent weather conditions to get next year’s crops in the ground – but others continue to battle through harvest.
In the week to 2 September, unsettled weather slowed combining progress to 300,000ha, bringing the total harvest to 85% complete, according to the latest HGCA / ADAS report.
“Over the past week most crops harvested required drying, with moisture contents of cereal crops averaging 17%,” it said.
Harvest progress was now on par with the five-year average, although winter wheat harvest was ahead of normal at 90% complete, and yields remained above average at 8.4-8.6t/ha.
In Hampshire, Tim Sykes’ harvest was all done and dusted at Denmead Farm, Waterlooville, after an excellent year for most crops.
Although the winter linseed was very disappointing, the spring linseed was much more pleasing at 2.2t/ha.
“The winter crop was hopeless, and it’s difficult to pinpoint the key reason, but at least the spring linseed came out where it should have been,” he said.
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Further north, Andrew Baker was also busy preparing for next year’s harvest at Foxes Farm, Creeting St Mary, Ipswich, Suffolk, after a very good year.
The 150ha of Horatio, Solo, JB Diego and Cordiale winter wheat yielded 10t/ha.
“It’s the best wheat crop we’ve had in a long while, coming off at around 12-14% moisture,” he said.
However, across near Worcester, Andrew Goodman had had a frustrating time with the wet weather at Walgrove Farm.
“The weather has made for a difficult harvest, with the combine stop-start throughout the past few weeks,” he said.
Yields had been unexciting as well, with Cocoon winter wheat yielding 8t/ha. “It’s pretty average and the straw quality wasn’t great either.”
In sharp contrast, Andrew Peddie had seen record yields across the board at Cornceres Farm, Anstruther, Fife, having finished combining yesterday (3 September).
The 40ha of Volume and Glacier winter barley yielded over 9.8t/ha according to the combine scales, although official results were still to be confirmed.
Compass and Cracker oilseed rape were also extremely pleasing. “Cracker reached around 4t/ha and Compass slightly more – it was the star on yields,” he said.