Harvest roundup: Monday - Farmers Weekly

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Harvest roundup: Monday

A relatively settled weekend has seen combines out in force across the country, with a few more growers making a start on wheat today (1 August).

In Kent, Robert Spencer started combining winter wheat at Lower Garrington Farm, Canterbury, this morning; three days earlier than last year.

 “It’s too early to tell how the wheat is yielding, but the bushelweight is good and the sample looks fantastic.”

Ben Hargreaves also started combining Cordiale wheat this morning at Low Farm, Thornton Curtis, Lincolnshire, having finished his oilseed rape.

“The wheat is three or four days earlier than normal but it looks an okay crop and is coming in at 14% moisture.”

Further west, Richard Solari was attempting to combine winter wheat at Heath House Farm, Beckbury, Shropshire, but was being thwarted by wet weather.

“We keep getting tiny bits of drizzle; it’s very frustrating.”

He was having to pick and choose the Oakley to cut, as much of it was not quite ripe. “We’ve been into and out of three fields now.”

Rain was also causing problems in Donegal, Ireland, where farmers had cut about 20% of their winter barley, said contractor Stevie Robb. “Normally we would be further on than that.

“The grain is ripe but the straw is very green, which makes for slow combining, and means it has to lie in the field for days before we can get it baled up. There’s a real backlog of straw building up.”

But harvest was progressing well at J.V. Farming Ltd, Martinsdown, Dorchester, Dorset, with the combine averaging 50ha (124 acres) a day. 

Operations manager Tim Merry said he had cut 950t of oilseed rape in five days last week, before being rained off on Saturday.

Yields had varied widely, from 3t to 5t/ha (1.2-2t/acre). “There doesn’t seem to be any real reason for it – it’s quite bizarre,” he said.

In France, harvest was back underway, and with drier weather forecast this week combines should make rapid progress in the coming days.

“Although it is still early to draw conclusions about the 2011 harvest, it seems that the latest rains haven’t really degraded the quality,” said a report by analyst Agritel.


Harvest roundup: Monday

Drier weather has enabled farmers to resume combining over the weekend, although many crops are not yet ripe.

In Essex, Robin Bartleet was combining today (25 July) at Abraham’s Farm, Great Tey, and was reasonably pleased with yields so far.

Cassata winter barley yielded about 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), while Matros had done better, at just under 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “I think it’s quite a promising variety.”

Winter barley and oilseed rape yields had been fantastic at Hollygate Farm, Stragglethorpe, Nottinghamshire, but the lighter crops were still to come, said Peter Gadd.

Volume winter barley yielded an exceptional 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre), while a trial plot of Expower oilseed rape came off at 4.92t/ha (1.99t/acre).

“It’s the first year we’ve grown a hybrid and it’s the highest yielding piece of oilseed rape I’ve ever had.”

In Yorkshire, harvest was getting underway, and David Hinchliffe started combining oilseed rape today at Bank House Farm, Goole.

“We’ve just made a start so it’s too early to get an accurate idea of how it’s yielding, but it looks reasonable,” he said.

Combines were also rolling in Shropshire, but Andrew Digwood was yet to start at Willow Paddocks Farm, Bridgnorth.

His rapeseed wasn’t likely to be ready until the end of the week, but farmers nearby were busy cutting winter barley today.

“It’s still quite green, but people are just itching to get on.”

Matthew Collins was similarly keen to resume combining at Chy-Vellan Farm, Marazion, Cornwall, where a sea mist had put paid to hopes of cutting today.

So far his Saffron barley had yielded well, at over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “We’ve been quite lucky in Cornwall; we had just enough rain at the right times to keep the crops going.”

In France, harvest continued to be held up by wet weather, sparking further concerns about grain quality, said a report by analyst Agritel.

More than half of the French harvest was still to be gathered, and it was unlikely that combines would make much progress before the second half of this week.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Wet weather brought harvest to a halt over the weekend, and an unsettled week ahead could frustrate further attempts to cut crops.

In Sussex, James Fuggle was hoping to start combining winter barley at Chessons Farm, Wadhurst, this week.

“We were going to start on Friday (15 July), but it wasn’t fit. It rained over the weekend, and we just need the sun to shine now. The barley looks decent, but you just can’t tell until you get the combine into it.”

Harvest got off to a poor start at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, but later crops were more promising, said Peter Wombwell.

The first block of oilseed rape, yielded just 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) on very light land, but the second field, on stronger land, yielded much better at 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre).

“I think all of harvest is going to be as variable, according to soil type. It was a bad start, but is improving.”

Crops were yielding reasonably well at Elm Tree Farm, Counthorpe, Lincolnshire, but combines were at a standstill today (18 July).

Saffron winter barley had averaged almost 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) across 53ha (130 acres). “It wasn’t too disastrous at all – we couldn’t complain at that,” said Alan Hind.

Wet weather was also hampering harvest at Haddon Farm, Bridgwater, Somerset, where Jeremy Walker wanted to combine oilseed rape.

“We’ve got 200 acres (80ha) to cut, and some has been desiccated for a couple of weeks so I want to get into it.

“But it’s drizzling today and looks like a frustrating week of weather ahead, so we won’t be cutting it for a day or two.”

In Worcestershire, harvest started 10 days earlier than last year at Lincoms Farm, Hartlebury, and yields had been reasonably pleasing, said Andrew Symonds.

He cut 15ha (37 acres) of Flagon winter barley last Wednesday (13 July), and was pleased with a yield of 6.75t/ha (2.7t/acre) at 13.8% moisture.

“We struggle to get 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) on our ground, so I was pleasantly surprised, given the yields that some other people have had this year.”

It was not just the UK that was suffering in wet conditions; combines in France had also ground to a halt, said analyst Agritel.

Thunderstorms were forecast in Ukraine today, while across the Atlantic, American markets remained firm, with renewed worries over a potentially damaging heatwave during corn pollinisation.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Harvest is slowly gathering pace, although many crops across the country are still about a week away from ripening.

In Norfolk, Ed Lankfer hoped to be cutting winter barley at Laurel Farm, Wereham, today (11 July), and said yields were better than expected.

“I’ve cut 7ha (17 acres) of Cassia so far – it’s not the biggest crop I’ve ever cut, but it’s in the store, which is a bonus.”

So far it was yielding 5t/ha (2t/acre) at 13.7% moisture. “I’ve heard some really poor yields, so on the whole we’re quite pleased.”

Crops looked very mixed along the Essex / Hertfordshire border, and harvest was still a few days away, according to agronomist Charles Carter.

“On the light land crops did burn out in June, and some people have started cutting winter barley where it’s died off completely. But on heavy land the crops don’t look too bad.”

Winter barley looked extremely well at Colin Keevil’s Chapel Farm, West Knoyle, Wiltshire, but harvest was still about a week away.

“We sprayed off 150 acres (60ha) of oilseed rape eight days ago (3 July), and will probably start cutting it at the end of this week, early next week, subject to the weather.”

Harvest was proving surprisingly late at Berkyn Manor Farm, Horton, Berkshire, with all crops likely to ripen at once.

“We normally start on 30 June or the first week of July; we had pencilled in to start today (11 July), but nothing is ready,” said Colin Rayner.

“We desiccated a neighbour’s winter beans and they might be the first thing to cut.”

Harvest was at least a week away at Giles Porter’s Penn Croft Farms, Farnham, Surrey.

“Generally, the crops aren’t looking too bad. The oilseed rape is looking fairly promising, and the wheat looks surprisingly good, considering the season,” he said.

Further afield in France, harvest had been a stop-start affair, with showers and thunderstorms keeping combines under wraps.

Cereal yields had generally been disappointing, but were proving better in the north, where the drought had less impact.

In Ukraine, wet weather was delaying harvest and affecting quality, with 90% of wheat harvested in Southern Ukraine classified as feed wheat.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Farmers in north Scotland are finally benefiting from a break in the weather, but they still have thousands of acres of crops to harvest, and quality is suffering.

Bruce Ferguson, manager at Aberdeen Grain, said Friday’s (29 September) wind and rain caused significant damage to spring barley crops.

Farmers in the area still had about 15% of spring barley and 40-50% of their wheat left to cut, but prospects for this week looked brighter.

In Morayshire, Martin Bridges was finishing harvest today (4 October) at Moray Estates, Elgin.

“It’s been purgatory, but we’re better off than most. All in all it’s been a below average year – the only highlight is that we’ve finally finished.”

Nick Davidson was also relieved to have finished harvest at Clola Farms, Milton of Clola, Peterhead, and even hoped to finish drilling this evening.

“But what a struggle it has been. There’s still an awful lot left to cut, and a lot of the land won’t be drilled now, because it’s so wet.”

Across the UK, wheat production remained stable this year, despite lower yields, according to the NFU’s annual harvest survey.

It put UK wheat production at 14.8m – only slightly below the five-year average of 14.9m tonnes, with an increase in planted area offsetting a 3% reduction in yields.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Mixed weather has allowed some farmers to gather remaining crops in over the weekend, while others continue to be thwarted by rain.

Farmers in Aberdeenshire still had 95% of their wheat and 30% of their spring barley left to cut, according to Bruce Ferguson at Aberdeen Grain.

“Quality has held up remarkably well so far. Providing we can get to it we’ll be okay, but the weather is forecast to be very catchy this week.”

In Caithness, Alec Webster’s combine had hardly turned a wheel for a fortnight at Lower Reiss Farm, and there was plenty still to cut in the area.

“It’s just been so wet and windy.” Harvest was about three weeks behind but spring barley and organic oats still looked reasonably well, he said.

In Northern Ireland, Allan Chambers was combining the last 4ha (10 acres) of winter wheat at Tullynaskeagh Farm, Downpatrick, Co. Down, today (20 September).

“It’s been an exceptional harvest. We’ve had our lowest average moisture content ever, at 16%. Usually anything below 20% is a major bonus around here.”

Meurig Raymond finished combining spring beans at Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, on Saturday, rounding up a fair harvest.

“That’s the earliest we’ve finished for a number of years – and it’s been the easiest harvest for four years. We haven’t had the rainfall they’ve had further east.”

Yields were about 5% down across the board, he said. “And we dried most of the crop because we were combining ahead of the ripening period.”

In Herefordshire Jamie Rogers had also finished harvest, at White Hall Farm, Hampton Bishop, and was pleased with above average yields.

“It’s gone very well – we’re very pleased. The lighter sands near Ross on Wye disappointed, but we had enough rain for the medium soils to excel.”


Harvest roundup: Monday

Combines have made excellent progress over the weekend, but forecast rain this week could threaten remaining crops.

In Shropshire, farmers were combining this morning (6 September) to try and finish before the weather broke.

“There’s very little left – we’re 99% done,” said David Roberts at merchant GO Davies. “But there were people going this morning at 22% moisture because of the forecast.”

Further east, John Steele had finished harvest at AK & JF Farms, Hamerton, Cambridgeshire, and had almost finished drilling oilseed rape.

“We finished the wheat on 11 August, before the rain, and then finished up tic beans, maple peas and linseed last week.”

In Scotland, Frank Thomson was combining spring barley at Burnside of Tynet, Clochan, Morayshire.

“It is very windy today and the spring barley had come very quickly with the better weather – we have caught up apace.”

And in Northern Ireland, Richard Kane had finished combining wheat at Broglasgow House, Myroe, Londonderry, leaving just 24ha (60 acres) of spring barley to cut.

“The past 10 days have been great – but we’ve had an inch of rain today.”

Winter wheat averaged 10t/ha (4t/acre), with Westminster spring barley averaging 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

However, yields proved very disappointing at Chris Vowles’s Freemans Farm, Barrow Gurney, Bristol, where harvest finished on Friday.

“It was really dry here and we only got two-thirds of a crop. Where the soil was shallow it was a real let-down; I just hope that some of the fertiliser is left in the soil from last year.”

Harvest roundup: Monday

Many people managed to cut more crops over the weekend, but rain today (23 August) has brought harvest to a grinding halt again.

The combine was rolling this morning at Geoff Alderslade’s West Fellgate Farm, Wardley, Tyne and Wear, but rain was forecast. “It is just starting to spit.”

So far he was more than halfway through harvest, but having only started on wheat last week, he had 75% of wheat left to cut.

“Quality has been pretty good, with the odd trailer load coming in below 13% protein. I thought Hagbergs would be way down by now, but they are still over 300.”

Spring barley quality remained good in north Scotland, but rain continued to delay harvest, said Jim Whiteford at Shandwick Mains, Tain, Inverness.

“It’s very cold and autumnal – and the week ahead does not look too good. Only about 13% of the malting barley has been cut up here, and it will mostly be ripe by mid-week.”

Heavy rain overnight meant Charles Martin was not combining at Mill House Farm, Abbotts Langley, Hertfordshire.

“We’re getting a bit fed up with it now. The wheat is suffering now – it’s starting to look a bit grey.”

In Suffolk, Carl Driver had finished combining wheat at Brittons Farm, Bury St Edmunds, leaving just winter beans to cut.

“There’s still a lot of wheat left out there – probably 50% – because a lot of people have been waiting for it to dry out.

“It’s so wet and humid now, the issue is how well the wheat is going to hold up this week.”

In Somerset, Tony Higgins had finished harvest at Middlegate Farm, Langport, and yields for all crops were down on last year.

“We are in a rain shadow here – it’s the earliest we’ve finished since 1976, so we can’t complain.”

However, many people in the area still had hundreds of acres of wheat to cut, and were seeking help from those who had finished, he said.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Combines are out in force today (16 August), attempting to cut as much as possible before more rain arrives tomorrow.

Martin Smart was cutting wheat at P & J Awdry & Sons’ Aston Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, where Gallant had been extremely pleasing, even on lighter land. 

“The quality has been marvellous, and it’s a lovely bright sample,” he said.

Diego winter wheat had exceeded expectations at GH Hoyles’ Monmouth Farm, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, averaging 12.3t/ha (5t/acre).

“It’s been a bit of an intermittent harvest because of the showers, so we’ve only had a couple of days in wheat,” said David Hoyles.

Having carried out mycotoxin risk assessments before and after the rain, the score had increased from four (low risk) to 10 (medium risk), he said.

In Kent, Tim Piper was combining wheat at Owley Farm, Tenterden, having been rained off for four days.

The Cordiale was yielding well for a second wheat, at almost 10t/ha (4t/acre) at 16% moisture.

“We haven’t had enough rain to do any damage – the straw is still nice and bright. It’s just been enough to stop us combining.”

Further north, contractor Chris Smith had finally started combining winter wheat near Easingwold, Yorkshire, after almost three weeks off.

“We’ve had more than our fair share of rain – we finished the barley nearly three weeks ago and haven’t cut any oilseed rape yet.

“This year’s rape should be ready at the end of this week – it’s very late, and is unusual to have cut wheat before rape.”

In Scotland, harvest was once again proving disastrous at Moray Estates, Elgin, with the weather causing dreadful crop damage throughout the season.

“Winter barley and oilseed rape yields are the worst I have had for many years,” said Martin Bridges.

With six inches of rain since the first week in July, the spring barley was suffering with fusarium. “I am worried about the quality if we keep getting more rain.”

Harvest roundup: Monday

Rain continues to frustrate some attempts at combining, but wheat is now coming off thick and fast, with yields proving rather variable.

Overall, winter wheat, spring barley and winter barley yields were about 10% below average, said Philip Darke at Camgrain.

Oilseed rape yields were average to better than average, and wheat and barley quality was excellent.

Chris Coates was combining winter wheat today (9 August) at Hundred Acre Farm, Gorefield, Cambridgeshire.

Coming in at 14.4-14.6% moisture, the Grafton and Viscount wheat was yielding reasonably well, while Gallant, grown as a second wheat for seed, averaged 10.1t/ha (4.09t/acre) over a weighbridge.

In Warwickshire, Hugh Forsyth had enjoyed record oilseed rape yields at Tubbs End Farms, Kineton, and his wheat was yielding well, too.

Excalibur oilseed rape produced 4.9-5 t/ha (2t/acre), with Cabernet and Dimension yielding about 4.5t/ha (1.8t/acre).

Second wheats averaged 9.2t/ha (3.7t/acre), with first wheat Oakley yielding about average at 10-10.5t/ha (4-4.3t/acre) so far.

In Angus, James Porter had not started combining yet at West Scryne Farm, Carnoustie, but farmers in the area had cut a lot of winter barley.

“From what I am hearing yields aren’t that great because of the dry June.”

Mr Porter just had Waggon spring barley and Alchemy winter wheat to cut, and expected to be into the barley over the weekend.

Further south, David Hinchliffe’s harvest was rained off again this afternoon at Bank House Farm, Goole, Yorkshire.

“It’s been one of those ‘catch it where you can’ sort of years, but we are making progress.”

Cordiale second wheat was disappointing on the poorer land, at 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), but produced 9.5t/ha (3.8t/acre) on better ground.

“The difference between the better land and poorer land is really showing this year.”

Don’t forget – you can text us about yourharvest progress on 07537 402 287. Start your message with“fwharvest”

Harvest roundup: Monday

Combines have been out in force over the weekend, although showers have frustrated many attempts.

In Lincolnshire, threatening weather was proving frustrating at Alan Hind’s Elm Tree Fm, Counthorpe, Grantham, but he was managing to cut oilseed rape today (2 August).

So far, the Excel had averaged 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre) – the same as last year’s good crop.

But winter barley and wheat yields were both below average, he said.

Peter Wombwell hoped to start combining winter wheat at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, this afternoon, having finished peas and oilseed rape.

“The rapeseed was fantastic – it was a real surprise,” he said. The Cabernet and Excalibur averaged just below 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), well above average.

Prophet peas were a more mixed bag, ranging from 2.5t/ha to 4.3t/ha (1-1.75t/acre).

A broken down combine had called a stop to harvest at Haddon Farm, Bridgwater, Somerset, where Jeremy Walker had nearly finished his own winter wheat.

The Diego and Oakley was yielding better than expected, at 9.3-9.9t/ha (3.75-4t/acre). “There is quite a lot of straw, too, at 4.9t/ha (2t/acre).”

In Yorkshire, Steve Dawson had enjoyed record winter barley yields at Dawson Farms, Swainby.

The six-row Pelican ranged from 10t/ha (4.07t/acre) to 11.6t/ha (4.7t/acre) dry, averaging 11.2t/ha (4.52t/acre).
“I hope this is a glimmer of hope in what appears to be a poor yielding year for arable farmers.”

In Shropshire, Andrew Craig finished cutting winter barley at Westwood Farm, Much Wenlock, yesterday, and hoped to start oilseed rape today.

“The barley was very variable, but I’m quite pleased with the yields – they are slightly above normal.

“The wheat will be ready at the end of the week – everything is going to come at once.”

Don’t forget – you can text us about yourharvest progress on 07537 402 287. Start your message with“fwharvest”

Harvest roundup: Monday

Harvest progressed rapidly over the weekend, and some farmers are now cutting very early wheat and spring barley in parts of the South and East.

In Somerset, Cannington Grain store was intaking winter barley, oilseed rape, oats and wheat.

“It’s all coming ready at once,” said Ian Eastwood.

“Harvest expectations are about average – there are no records out there, but it is not as disappointing as we could have expected.”

Winter wheat and oilseed rape had ripened at the same time at Proctor Bros’ Lighthouse Farm, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire.

“We started cutting oilseed rape and wheat today (26 July),” said Adrian Howell.

“That’s the first time ever that they’ve both come at once. We don’t normally cut wheat until August.”

Marrowfat peas were also about to ripen, leaving about 48 hours before they, too, would be ready, he added.

In Wiltshire, Edward Parsons was cutting Tipple spring barley at Templemans Farm, Redlynch.

“I didn’t expect much of it – I was thinking it could be as low as 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), but it’s actually doing alright at 6.2-7.4t/ha (2.5-3t/acre).”

Oilseed rape yields were better than last year, despite dreadful frost damage in the spring.

The worst frosted field of Cabernet actually yielded the best, at almost 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), with the entire 94ha (116 acres) averaging 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre).

Persistent drizzle was preventing combining today at Alistair Pinkerton’s Blackbird’s Farm, Aldenham, Hertfordshire.

“We started oilseed rape on Wednesday but it wasn’t quite ready, so we got into it again on Saturday and Sunday.” Yields were about average, he said.

In Kent, Andy Pendry hoped to finish combining oilseed rape at Burden Bros’ Old Rides Farm, Eastchurch, tomorrow, and would be into wheat on Wednesday.

“Yields have been a little bit disappointing – but only because last year was so good, we were spoilt,” he said.

Harvest roundup: Monday

Combines are rolling across parts of the East and South of England, with early indications putting winter barley yields about 10% below last year.

Philip Darke, store manager at Camgrain, said crops were all ripening at once, creating a logistical nightmare for farmers and central store managers.

“We have got wheat planned to come in tomorrow (20 July), and will be maxed-out on all crops within five days. I’ve never known anything like it.”

Winter barley yields were about 10% down on last year, but samples were pleasing, with bold grains and good malting potential, he said.

Two combines and a dry week had enabled Colin Rayner to cut 120ha (300 acres) of winter barley and some rape at his farms in Berkshire, Essex and Surrey.

So far the Sequel winter barley had yielded between 5t/ha and 10t/ha (2-4t/acre).

He expected to be cutting oats by the end of this week, and wheat next week.

In Norfolk, harvest got underway yesterday at Nick Abram’s High House Farm, where yields were so far surprisingly reasonable, given the lack of rain.

“I think our winter barley and oilseed rape will be alright – but spring barley I am more than a little concerned about. The wheat is going off very quickly as well.”

The combine was rolling again today at Brian and Adam Horsfield’s Great Wilbraham Hall Farm, Balsham, Cambridgeshire, despite a false start last week.

Winter barley proved not to be fit on their first attempt at harvest on Monday (12 July), but was now coming off at 11.5% moisture.

“The grain is a little pinched, and the straw is so short we’re cutting at 7km per hour.”

Crops were looking well at Bill Harbour’s Gosmere Farm, Sheldwich, Kent, but oilseed rape was still a week away from ripening.

“Some rape in the area is only just ready for roundup – it’s been hanging on amazingly well.”

In Essex, Guy Smith attempted to start combining oilseed rape at Wigborowick Farm today, but found it was not yet ripe.

“There were too many red seeds in it – I think it might be ready on Wednesday. It looks moderate, but you can’t tell until you get the combine in,” he said.


Harvest roundup: Monday

Upload image to Harvest Highlights

Harvest is all over bar the few last fields across the country, with the Indian summer enabling farmers to catch up after a torrential August.

In North Scotland, there were just a few oats to cut, said Simon Barry of Highland Grain.

“We were quite worried that the quality would suffer after the torrential rain, and the crops did lose a bit of colour, but the quality held up and we’ve had no problems at all.”

A preliminary survey of members revealed that winter wheat and oilseed rape yields were about average, with spring barley yielding above average, he said.

Yields had been about average across Southern Scotland and the borders, with quality holding up reasonably well, said Scotgrain’s Trevor Harriman.

“The vast majority of harvest is now in – and for us, in the main, we are quite happy with quality.”

In Cork, Ireland, harvest was almost complete, with just a couple of wet fields to tidy up, said Nicholas Dunican of Cork Combines, Valley Farm, Belgooley.

“What a difference a fine week makes – we finished the spring barley last week at 14% moisture.”

In Shropshire, bean yields were proving pleasing, but pea quality was mixed, according to Stuart Dolphin at Wrekin Grain.

“Harvest is about done and dusted and we’ve had some nice bean samples that will make reasonable premiums.”

The decent weather had also enabled most farmers to finish combining in the South West, said Ian Eastwood, marketing manager at West Country Grain.

“We did get left behind somewhat, but the better weather has enabled a lot of people to catch up.”


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Harvest roundup: Monday

Upload image to Harvest Highlights

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Monday

Upload image to Harvest Highlights

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Monday

Fine weather enabled many farmers to make inroads into wheat and spring barley this weekend, but yields are proving extremely variable.

In Essex, harvest was between half and three-quarters complete, according to agronomist Charles Carter.

Oilseed rape and wheat yields were incredibly varied, ranging from record yields on good land to total disasters on the lighter land.

Yields had also been below average at John Jefferies’ farm in Cambridgeshire, due to the dry spring. “The tillers died off in May – we’ve lost up to 2t/ha (0.8t/acre) at a guess.”

He hoped to finish combining tomorrow, but said harvest progress ranged from 20%-80% in the local area.

In Devon, many crops were still not ripe, making harvest a tricky affair, said Troy Stuart from Clyst St Mary.

“We’ve got winter oilseed rape that is still not fit – and it was planted on 12 September. We’ve done an awful lot of messing about and crop changes.”

Further north, in Shropshire, Bruce Udale was halfway through his spring barley, which was producing a good sample and averaging about 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre).

“We’re trying to finish the spring barley before we start the wheat – it’s all just about standing up.”

Spring barley harvest was also underway in Scotland, where Frank Thomson was cutting Optic near Buckie, Morayshire.

However, he still had about half of his oilseed rape to cut, with around 30% left to do in the area.

Malting barley quality and yields had been excellent across most of the country, said Gleadell Agriculture’s Stuart Shand.

“Apart from the South West, the spring barleys are of good colour, low protein and are yielding very well.”

Winter barley harvest was all but complete, with very good quality and above average yields, he added.

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Monday

A dry weekend enabled many farmers to make decent progress into harvest across the country, with hopes of further fine weather to come.

In Angus, Robert Ramsey had been rained off today, but he hoped to be into spring barley tomorrow. “We’ve been pretty lucky up to now.”

He finished oilseed rape over the weekend, and was pleased with above average yields from high erucic varieties Marcant and Maplus.

Further south, Richard Beachell started combining winter wheat at Field House Farm, Bainton, Humberside, yesterday, and was pleased with yields so far.

Cordiale as a second wheat had come in at 14.5% moisture, and averaged about 10t/ha (4t/acre).

Harvest was about halfway through near Ely, Cambridgeshire, according to Anthony Morbey, who was now combining first wheats at Cole Ambrose.

“I am less than halfway, but I have got neighbours who are nearly finished.”

But wheat was still 10 days away from being ripe at Andrew Crow’s Cherrington Manor, Newport, Shropshire.

So far he had only combined one field of winter barley, which had disappointed at less than 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), and was busy haymaking today.

Careful harvest planning had yielded significant benefits at David Butler’s East Wick Farm, Wootton Rivers, Wiltshire.

“We’ve deliberately left some fields behind so that we’ve been able to get on cutting where otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to.

“It has been a stop-start harvest but we haven’t cut anything at embarrassing moistures this year.”

In Sussex, harvest was progressing rapidly at Tim Lock’s Houghton Farm, Arundel, and yields had been generally pleasing.

Mascani winter oats were averaging 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre), and Tipple spring barley had all made malting quality at 6.8-7.4t/ha (2.75-3t/acre).

Most people were getting on well in the area, he said. “One person is finishing tomorrow, and we should have made a reasonable hole by the end of the week.”

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Monday

Dry spells over the weekend have enabled many farmers to get on combining, although progress continues to be frustrated by showers.

In Suffolk, Andrew Maddever was cutting wheat as quickly as he could before further rain arrived.

He was pleased with both yields and quality so far, at 8.75-9.2t/ha (3.5-3.7t/acre) and 13.5% protein.

He now had 930ha (2300 acres) of wheat to combine, and reckoned harvest was about 10-15% complete in the area.

Further north, harvest was about a week later than normal at John Porter’s farm near Hull, but he hoped to finish winter barley today (3 August).

Barley yields had been pleasing, with Pelican averaging 9-10t/ha (3.6-4t/acre), and a trial plot of Volume excelling at 11.4t/ha (4.6t/acre).

North Scotland was escaping the worst of the weather, said Jim Whiteford, who had finished winter barley at Shandwick Mains, Inverness.

Harvest was about a week ahead of last year, and the earliest spring barley would be sprayed off and ready to combine by the end of the week.

In Berkshire, harvest was finally underway at Priors Farm, with initial oilseed rape yields looking promising.

“We were quite surprised – it hasn’t looked good all year, but I think it should yield 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre),” said George Brown.

He and father Richard had cut 20ha (50 acres) of Dimension at 10.8% moisture yesterday, before moving on to contract combine organic oats at nearby Sheepdrove Farm today.

Winter wheat was underway at Richard Baker’s Walnut Tree Farm, Rochester, Kent, and yields were down by about 0.5t/acre (1.2t/ha) due to drought in the spring.

 So far the 12ha (30 acres) of Hereward had only averaged 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), and other farmers were reporting disappointing results in the area, he said.

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Monday

Dry spells over the weekend allowed some farmers to combine, but rain overnight has quashed hopes of getting on again today (27 July).

In Cambridge, Richard Cobbald was more than two-thirds of the way through his oilseed rape, and hoped to finish it by the end of this week.

The 182ha (450 acres) of Castille had yielded well on the heavy land, at about 4t/ha (1.6t/acre), but had not done so well on the lighter land, at 3.5t/ha (1.4t/acre).

Almost 5mm of rain overnight frustrated Peter Snell’s chances of combining in Dorset today.

With more than half of his oilseed rape still to do, and a poor forecast, he did not expect to back on combining until mid-week at the earliest.

But in Kent, John Beslee has finished oilseed rape, and needed a few warm days to bring the wheat on.

Although his wheat was not quite fit, he did see someone combining wheat near Thanet yesterday, he said.

Peter Holt was about two-thirds of the way through his rapeseed in Wiltshire, with yields about average at 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre).

Spring barley was still about a week away. “It looks quite good.”

Harvest was around 10 days later than normal at Russell Fraser’s Tiln Farms, Retford, Nottinghamshire.

He had cut about half of his rape and winter barley, and said the remaining barley was starting to brackle over. With more rain today he was unlikely to make further progress.

The Met Office said showers were likely to clear away this afternoon and overnight, with a drier day tomorrow but rain returning on Wednesday and Thursday across most of the country.


 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



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