High winds and rain are frustrating farmers’ attempts to finish harvest across much of the country, although in Scotland combines have remained busy while they can.
In Herefordshire, Jamie Rogers had finished harvest at White Hall Farm, Hampton Bishop, and was now concerned about oilseed rape germination.
“It was comfortably the worst harvest I have ever experienced, both in terms of yields and quality,” he said.
Most of the wheat was sown to Duxford, and yielded below 5t/ha – well down on last year’s average of more than 9.8t/ha.
Meurig Raymond had got one day’s combining left at Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, and was now waiting for a break in the weather.
“It’s been a frustrating harvest for everybody – the staff have worked so hard, but there’s just no pleasure in the job,” he said.
“We’ve got 9ha of wheat left, in a very wet field, so I’m nervous of taking the combine in there until it’s dried out.”
In Yorkshire, Ian Elsworth had finished harvest at Raskelf Farm, York, but said there were still some wheat and beans left to cut in the area.
“There was a lot done on Saturday, but we’ve had 12mm of rain today (24 September) – the wheat won’t be looking pretty after that.”
Yields had been shockingly bad, with wheat about 30% below average. “For the time and effort you put into growing them, it was an insult.”
Further north, combines had been busy near Inverness, ahead of forecast gales and showers.
“With the weather due to break tomorrow, we’re unlikely to do much more by the end of the week,” said Simon Barry, chief executive at Highland Grain.
Farmers had about 5% of their spring barley and 5-10% of their wheat left to cut in the area.
But in Aberdeenshire, there was plenty of wheat and spring barley left to cut, said Nick Davidson at Clola Farms, Milton of Clola.
“It’s been a year to forget, that is for sure. I’m very glad I’ve only got 162ha – I don’t know how the larger boys are managing.
“There’s an awful lot left to cut – a lot of the spring barley is only just fit, and wheat is the same. It doesn’t exactly fill you with enthusiasm to expand.”