Wheat harvest is now underway across much of southern and eastern England, and initial yield reports are excellent.

In Cambridgeshire, wheat harvest was eight days ahead of normal, with 30,000t of new crop into the Camgrain store so far, said managing director Philip Darke.

“Some of the wheat yields are just ballistic,” he said. “But protein contents are low – in the low 10s % where farmers haven’t chased protein and about 12.5% where they have.”

Harvest was also progressing extremely well at Chessons Farm, Wadhurst, Sussex, where James Fuggle had just started combining winter wheat.

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“We’ve done the oilseed rape and the oats, and started on Panorama yesterday (27 July),” he said. “Yields have been very good – the Cassia winter barley averaged 8.5-9.7t/ha at 13% moisture, so we can’t complain at that.”

However, in Cornwall, Mike Hambly’s harvest had been rained off at Wescott Barton, Callington, so he was busy carting straw today.

“The PR46W21 oilseed rape was very disappointing – the worst of it yielded 2.5t/ha and the best did 3.7t/ha,” he said.

Harvest had also been a stop-start affair at Willow Farm, Skegness, Lincolnshire, although David Pridgeon was managing to combine today.

“We had a lot of sea mists rolling in last week, which slowed us down – but the wind has changed now so it’s a lot drier,” he said.

In Scotland, Jim Macfarlane had made the earliest start to harvest ever at Edrington Mains Farm, Edington, Berwick-upon-Tweed.

“We started combining on Thursday  – we probably could have started on Tuesday but I had to come home early from holiday as it was,” he said. “We’ve only ever cut in July once before – it’s quite remarkable.”