Many farmers in the South and East of England are nearing the end of harvest, but elsewhere there is still plenty left to do.
In Somerset, Richard Payne had just 40ha of winter wheat and 12ha of spring beans left to cut at Manor Farm, Taunton, Somerset.
“Unfortunately, we’ve got crops left at either extremity of the farm, which was rather bad planning on my behalf,” he said.
Harvest results had been mixed, with Horatio winter wheat suffering from what appeared to be take-all. “But we had a sample sent off and it was actually brown footrot. The worst field did 7.7t/ha, while the best did 12.4t/ha.”
Across in Essex, Stacy Andrews had all but finished harvest at Maydays Farm, Colchester, and had enjoyed some of his best yields ever.
“We started cutting oilseed rape on 10 July, which is our earliest ever, and have just got 4ha of spring wheat left to cut,” he said.
Growing all first wheats in rotation with peas, oilseed rape and winter oats, Mr Andrews was delighted with some of the best average yields he’d ever had.
“Santiago yielded up to 12.6t/ha, and averaged 11.5t/ha – which is fantastic,” he said. “Diego averaged 11.3t/ha and Gallant did 10t/ha.”
However, further north Glen Sanderson had only just started combining winter wheat at Eshott South Farm, Felton, Northumberland, and was so far disappointed with yields.
“We’ve cut some Viscount second wheat, which seemed to have a lot of take-all despite using Latitude seed dressing,” he said. “It’s too early to tell what it’s yielded but it won’t be any great shakes.”
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Endless showers in Northern Ireland meant John Best was very concerned about crops at Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass, Co. Armagh.
“The spring oats are taking a real hammering, and the winter wheat is ruffled, but not too bad at the moment,” he said.
“Unfortunately it’s not forecast to dry up any time soon – we’ve been cutting winter oats between the showers at 18.5% moisture and even in Ireland we like to get it in below that.”
But in Wales, Meurig Raymond had been very lucky with the weather at Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed.
Despite weather warnings and torrential rain in Cardiff yesterday (14 August), the farm was bathed in warm sunshine, so combining was able to mostly continue.
“We are 50% through harvest, and it’s been fairly easy so far, so I’m not complaining,” he said.
Winter barley did well, with feed varieties averaging 8t/ha. “The deeper soil did the best, as the shallower ground suffered over the dry summer.”