Better weather has allowed many farmers to get back on target with harvest, with some even hoping for a little rain to help with fieldwork. 

In Lincolnshire, David Hoyles was busy lifting potatoes, having managed to reach the end of this year’s wheat harvest.

“It’s been pretty poor all round,” he said. “Quality was poor and we failed to meet one of our customer’s standards, which meant we were completely unable to supply them.”

Mr Hoyles was now hoping for a touch of rain to help lift the potatoes without bruising and other damage.

He was not the only one in need of soil moisture. In Wiltshire, James Stafford was hoping for some rain to aid oilseed rape germination.
Harvest had been mixed at Pickwick Lodge Farm, Corsham, but overall he was happy, considering the season.

“It’s much later than we would like and we’re about 12-14 days behind where we would like to be.”

Further North, Richard Wilkinson felt the year had been fairly average at Corpselanding Holme Farm,Yorkshire. 

“The Pearl winter barley was only slightly down on yield, averaging 6.9t/ha,” he said. “Usually we would expect around 7.9t/ha.”

The dry spell had enabled Mike Cumming to catch up with harvest at Lour Farms, Ladenford, Angus, after a week of frenetic activity.

“We predicted this year would be a complete disaster,” he said. “Last week there was no spring barley cut, but from 2 to 7 September it was all plain sailing. 

“The next step now is to harvest the 160ha of wheat that is still standing.”

And in West Devon, Tim Cox was down to his last 30ha of linseed. “It’s been a very hard, strenuous and expensive harvest,” he said.

“Stopping and starting constantly has increased our fuel and labour costs. We really need to finish harvesting the linseed, as we can’t get on with drilling the first wheat until it’s gone.”