Unexpectedly damp conditions have delayed harvest slightly in parts of the country today (28 July), but overall progress is on par with the five-year average.
Harvest was progressing well at Meurig Raymond’s Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, despite being rained off this morning.
So far he had cut about 50% of the winter barley, and a third of the oilseed rape. “The oilseed rape was extremely pleasing. I think we’re averaging 4.7t/ha (1.9t/acre) so far.”
In Berkshire, Richard Brown had been combining oilseed rape at Priors Farm, Newbury, but had stopped today as the remainder was not fit.
“In places the Sesame did a good 5t/ha (2t/acre) but it wouldn’t have averaged that. Even so, it’s probably the best we’ve grown.”
Farmers had cut 30% of winter barley and 20% of oilseed rape by the end of Tuesday – about average for the time of year, according to the HGCA’s latest report.
Winter barley yields were very variable, but likely to be about 10% below the five-year average, while rapeseed yields were about 10% above average.
Richard Beachell was another farmer who was pleased with oilseed rape yields, having started combining at Field House Farm, Bainton, Humberside, yesterday.
The first field of Excalibur weighed in at 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) over the combine, with the second field at 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre).
“Whether or not that’s 100% accurate I don’t know, but it looked a good crop and there was a fair bit of seed coming off.”
Although the odd bit of wheat had been cut around the country, it was still about a week away at Ouse Bank Farm, Great Barford, Bedfordshire, said Stephen Bumstead.
“I think it needs to be sprayed off – we’ve got so many green tillers in the tramlines – the spring barley is the same.”
Jonathan Tipples also expected to be into wheat next week, having finished combining oilseed rape at Reed Court Farm, Marden, Kent.
“The Fashion rapeseed was alright – it did 4t/ha (1.6t/acre) and the oil content looks very good at about 45%.”
Winter wheat would be ready to cut on Monday. “It looks okay, but it can’t be. Once we get into it we’ll see what damage the drought has done.”