Harvest roundup: Tuesday - Farmers Weekly

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Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Farmers are combining as quickly as possible ahead of forecast unsettled weather this week, with some already rained off today (2 August).

Contractor Keith Snowball was combining oilseed rape at 11% moisture near Brandsby, Yorkshire, where OSR and winter barley harvest was about halfway through.

“It’s frustrating – things are just getting going, and we really need some fine weather.”

Further north, heavy rain had brought harvest to a halt at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Morayshire, where Iain Green had finished cutting winter barley.

“We started on 23 July and it’s all baled up. Now we’ve moved to another farm, where the barley is just ready, but it’s pouring.”

However, in central and southern England, farmers were faring better.

In Cambridgeshire, Edd Banks sewed up his oilseed rape harvest quickly on Monday evening, allowing him to start cutting wheat.

Oilseed rape yields were better than expected, and Gallant second wheat looked promising, with yields in excess of 8t/ha (3.2t/acres).

Harvest was also speeding along at Peter Fairs’ farms near Great Tey, Colchester, Essex, with 2500t of wheat, 1000t of oilseed rape and 200t of peas now cut.

“I don’t think we’ve been this far ahead for quite a few years,” he said. “We’re going as fast as we can while the weather holds.”

In Hampshire, Nick Rowsell made a start on spring barley at West Stoke Farm, Winchester, yesterday, although the remainder was still green.

The Concerto, grown on light land, yielded 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre). “It will be a bit below what we had hoped for, but considering the year I was quite pleased.”

Winter wheat was underway at Park Farm, Hanbury, Worcestershire, but Roger Brian was disappointed with the results.

“It’s not very good – it’s a second wheat and the dry weather didn’t help things.” So far the Scout had yielded 6.9-7.4t/ha (2.8-3t/acre). “But the first wheats don’t look too bad.”

In Devon, a fine spell of dry weather allowed Steve Lee to soar through his 80ha (200 acres) of oilseed rape in just three days.

Harvest from his base in Black Dog, near Crediton, began four days earlier this year – on 26 July – and the quality and yields were well above last year’s average, he said.

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Wheat harvest is underway in the South East and East Anglia, with early yields and quality proving reasonable.

In Kent, wheat was just starting to be delivered into GH Grain, Wingham, said grain marketing director Charles Roberts.

Quality was good, with the Gallant milling wheat testing at 82kg/hl and 12-13.5% protein.

Guy Smith had also started combining winter wheat at Wigborowick Farm, St Osyth, Essex; his earliest start since 1976.

So far the 4ha (10 acres) of Cordiale had yielded about average, with 11.2% protein, 385 Hagberg and 82kg/hl.

“Quality is good – although ear counts are low the grain size and density is very good. But it’s starting to get that grey, washed out look already, which is worrying.”

Drizzly conditions brought combines to a halt today (26 July) near Aylsham, Norfolk, where farmers had cut about half their winter barley.

Andrew Dewing, chief executive of Dewing Grain, said very few crops were coming into store dry.

“Most are coming in at between 15.3% and 17% moisture – the premiums for malting barley are so good that it would be foolish to wait for perfect weather, because it might not come.”

It was a similar story in Wiltshire, where an unexpected rain shower this morning meant few farmers would be combining today.

Nick Brown, store manager at Wiltshire Grain, said farmers were less than halfway through winter barley and oilseed rape harvest.

Barley yields were about average, and rapeseed yields were better than expected, he said.

“But quality is very variable – nitrogen contents range from 1.57% to 2.3%, and anything in between.”

Further north, harvest was progressing smoothly at Eyton House Farm, Telford, Shropshire, where Bruce Udale was combining oilseed rape.

“It’s all about soil type this year – as you go up and down the fields you can see vast differences on the yield meter.”

Harvest was also underway in North-East England, and early indications were of excellent winter barley yields, said Gary Bright at Tynegrain.

“Harvest only started in earnest this week. So far farmers are pretty happy – the early reports are good and everyone’s keen to get on.”

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Farmers in the north east of Scotland continue to struggle with wet weather, but elsewhere winter wheat sowing is underway.

Growers in Aberdeenshire had made slow progress over the past week, with 15% of spring barley and 70% of wheat still to cut, according to Bruce Ferguson at Aberdeen Grain.

“We haven’t had a huge amount of success with the weather – the growers have just been snatching what they can, at very high moisture contents.

Spring barley quality in North East Scotland was starting to suffer, said Trevor Harriman at Scotgrain.

About half the spring barley cut over the weekend was still of reasonable malting quality. “Some has started to go, though – you have to test each sample on its own merits.”

In Northern Ireland, Gerald Erwin finished harvest at Nutts Corner, Crumlin, Co. Antrim, yesterday (27 August), and hoped to start drilling winter wheat tomorrow.

“We had a reasonable weekend and worked straight through from Thursday to Monday.

“But before that we had three weeks in which we only did two days’ work, because of the wet weather.”

However, in Shropshire, harvest had gone well for both cereals and potatoes at Richard Solari’s Heath House Farm, Beckbury.

“We’ve had a good year for potatoes – through a bit of luck and judgement we’ve ended up with very good packing quality.

Harvest of maincrop Maris Pipers was 60% complete, he said. “We expect to finish by 15 or 20 October, depending on the weather.”

Further south, Paul Gluyas had hoped to drill wheat today at Pencoose farm, Stithians, Cornwall, but was rained off.

“We put the first field of winter wheat in yesterday, but it started raining as soon as we got up this morning, which was a bit disappointing.”

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Harvest continues to be disrupted by wet and windy weather, with farmers in Scotland particularly badly affected.

“We’ve got really unpleasant North-West showers today (14 September), so it’s pretty frustrating,” said Stuart Fuller-Shapcott at Sweethope, Kelso.

Harvest in the Scottish borders was not late, but was back-to-front. “We’ve cut all the wheat, but we’re only nibbling at the spring barley because it’s barely ready – the straw is still quite green in places.

Farmers still had about 40% of their spring barley and more of their wheat to cut near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, said Nick Davidson at Clola Farms, Milton of Clola.

“Some combines were cutting at 30% moisture on Sunday, but others haven’t been out for 10 days.”

Harvest was about 85% complete at AJ Duncan Farms’ Muirden Farm, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

Manager Sandy Norrie said he had a great week combining a fortnight ago, and cut many crops which were not quite ripe.

“The moisture started to go up rather than down, but I’m glad we did it, given the weather since then.”

Further south, in Derbyshire, James Chamberlain had finished harvest at Glebe Farm, Shardlow, but said some farmers still had linseed, spring rapeseed and winter wheat to cut.

“The oilseed rape wasn’t too bad – it averaged 3.75t/ha (1.5t/acre), which, given the very dry season on light land, I’m quite satisfied with.”

Overall, wheat production was below the five-year average, according to results of a NFU members’ survey.

Although the planted area increased by 6%, lower yields meant total production would be about 13.5m tonnes – similar to last year but 400,00t below the average.

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Many regions across the UK have finished combining – but crops which are still left to cut could suffer in further wet weather this week.

Harvest was generally complete in central and eastern England and as far north as North Yorkshire, but southern England and Scotland still had crops to cut, said Openfield’s Mark Worrell.

Cereal harvest was no more than 50% complete in north Scotland. “And parts of the south of England – such as Hampshire – still have crops in the field.”

Harvest across most of Yorkshire was now complete, said Nigel Britland, Openfield’s northern region manager.

Most farmers had made the best of the dry spell to finish up last week, and yields had proven variable.

But in Aberdeenshire farmers still had 35-40% of barley left to combine, and quality could start to suffer, said Bruce Ferguson at Aberdeen Grain.

Although farmers made good harvest progress during last week’s dry spell, the Met Office was now forecasting unsettled weather over the coming week or two.

In Hertfordshire, Charles Martin had finished harvest at Mill House Farm, Abbotts Langley, but wheat quality fell after the rain.

“We finished last Wednesday (1 August) but the Einstein had started to sprout, so it’s not going to be milling quality.”

The weather had also affected pea and bean yields and quality, which were extremely variable this year, said Phil Rix at the British Edible Pulses Association.

On average, yields were expected to be lower than usual. But with prices tracking wheat, farmers with decent quality pulses could expect a good return.

And in Cornwall, harvest had performed a spectacular U-turn at Mike Hambly’s Westcott Barton, Callington.

Despite looking like another wash out for the fourth year running, all crops were now safely in the barn, and yields turned out to be some of the best ever.

“It’s rather embarrassing really,” he said.


Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Combines made good progress over the bank holiday weekend, and early indications of wheat and spring barley quality after the rain are mixed.

Rob Sanderson at Openfield said wheat quality was rapidly declining following last week’s rain.

However, most of the wheat that had been left to cut was feed or soft wheat, so Group 1 and 2 milling wheat was generally in the barn, he said.

However, it was a different picture in Lincolnshire, where farmers had suffered particularly badly with the rain, said Simon Schaaning, store manager at Honey Pot Grain Store.

“I would say about a third of the wheat had been cut before the rain, and we haven’t got much hope for the rest.”

In Wiltshire, Tim Carson’s wheat had been ready to cut three weeks ago before the rain, and had started to sprout.

“It’s just feed wheat, thankfully – we got all our milling wheat in early before the rain.”

Harvest was about 80% complete at Ed Lankfer’s Laurel Farm, Wereham, Norfolk, and he was pleased to back on combining this week.

“We got 15ha (37 acres) done at 15.8-16.5% moisture yesterday – that’s the driest we’ve had the wheat all season.

“There are a lot of shrivelled grains, but although the odd ear has shot after the rain, 99% of it looks fine.”

Harvest was also going well at Duncan Whiteman’s Arlescott Farm, Telford, Shropshire, although progress in the area was mixed.

“We are about 65% through harvest, and most people are about the same, although my neighbour has got some oats that have gone flat, and there is still some oilseed rape to do in the area.”

In the Brandsby area of Yorkshire harvest was almost finished, according to contractor Keith Snowball.

He had just a couple of acres of spring barley left to finish at his own High Farm, and 80ha (200 acres) of contract combining to do.

“It’s lovely quality, but is yielding below average on sandy land at 4.9t/ha (2t/acre). We’ll be finished by tomorrow night (1 September).”

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Wheat harvest is only about 30-35% complete, and quality is starting to suffer in places.

“It is very frustrating,” said Masstock agronomist David Neale. “Some wheat is going grey and I should think that quality is on the move.

“It is very concerning, and the forecast this week is catchy to say the least. But until we get the crop off after the rain we won’t know.”

Camgrain members had cut 95% of their Group 1 and 2 milling wheats, but 50,000t of Group 3 and 4 wheats were left to cut, said store manager Philip Darke.

“Everything so far has got big Hagbergs, but what is left out there is at serious risk of losing Hagberg.”

Farmers should do their utmost to keep good quality milling wheat separate from feed wheat this year, warned David Sheppard, managing director of Gleadell Agriculture.

“Much of the wheat combined to date is of good quality and will be needed at some stage this season at good premiums over feed.

“We strongly urge farmers to do their utmost to keep wheat already in the barn separate from whatever is combined the next time you are able to access fields.”

In Yorkshire, farmers had cut about half their wheat, and yields were extremely variable, said independent agronomist Patrick Stephenson.

“We’ve had some very big yields and we’ve had some very average yields – it just depends how deep the soil is.

“I would think the wheat is nicely mature now, so after this week it will start to lose quality.”

Harvest in Scotland was looking worryingly similar to last year’s wash out – but quality remained solid and better prices were keeping farmers’ spirits up.

Independent agronomist Allen Scobie said all the winter barley and most of the rape was now cut in the Dundee area.

“Some people have started spring barley and the odd bit of wheat. I haven’t seen any wheat sprouting yet – but I wouldn’t like to see this rain go on for a week or 10 days more.”

Spring barley harvest was about 10-15% through in the Angus area, according to Trevor Harriman at Scotgrain.

“The quality is fine, but yields are light, as we had expected for the early crops. Nothing has come to harm in the rain because it’s only just fit.”

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Widespread showers have brought harvest to a halt again today (17 August), and further unsettled weather is sparking some concerns over grain quality.

Wheat harvest was about 25% complete, according to David Sheppard, managing director at Gleadell Agriculture.

Quality was generally good, but Hagbergs ranged from 180 to 450, he said. “It will start to deteriorate if it keeps raining.

“Yields are all over the place, but are generally slightly lower than last year – we will probably be looking at a crop below 15m tonnes.”

Milling wheat quality was also becoming a concern in the Shropshire area, with 10 days of unsettled weather forecast, said Stuart Dolphin at Wrekin Grain.

“A lot of people were combining yesterday (16 August), but looking at the forecast that’s probably the only day they are going to be on.

“There is also going to be a concern for spring malting barley – that is next in line.”

However, in Somerset Richard Payne had finished harvest at Manor Farm, Heathfield, and was making a start on cultivations.

“We finished the spring beans yesterday – it’s nice to have had an easy harvest.”

Wheat yields were about 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) below normal, averaging about 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), he said.

And in Co. Cork, Ireland, harvest was progressing very quickly, with spring barley harvest about 10 days ahead of normal, said Nicholas Dunican at Cork Combines.

“Most of the spring barley round here is coming in over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), which is pretty good, and most of it is passing for malting. Everyone is feeling very buoyant.”

In north Scotland, spring barley and winter wheat were almost fit, but rain was holding harvest up, said Simon Barry at Highland Grain.

“There is still a lot of oilseed rape to cut – it’s late this year.”

Some farmers started cutting spring barley over the weekend, but most would not be ready until next week, he said.

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Widespread showers have brought combines to a halt across much of the country today (10 August).

In Kent, Martin and Paul Boulden hoped to start combining winter wheat at Court Lodge, Aldington, but rain had stopped play.

“We have had quite a bit of rain this morning – and it has been a bit slow harvesting the oilseed rape between the showers – it’s taken us two weeks to cut it,” said Martin.

He finished combining rapeseed last night, and was reasonably pleased with yields of 3.8-4t/ha (1.5-1.6t/acre).

Harvest was on target at Meurig Raymond’s Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, at about 25% complete, and he hoped to be on again this afternoon after a damp morning.

He had cut 90% of his winter barley, with yields around 10% below normal, and 60% of his oilseed rape, which had yielded about average.

Further south, James Francis had finished combining oilseed rape at Manor Farm, Hemington, Somerset, and was well into winter wheat.

Oilseed rape yields were better than last year, but wheat yields were mixed, averaging 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

“It’s not disastrous – normally we’d average 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) – and the Alchemy and Diego on heavier ground look well. They’re still about a week away.”

Wheat yields were between 5% and 10% below last year, but quality was generally good, according to Simon Ingle, head of central marketing at Openfield.

Crops on lighter soils in East Anglia had suffered the most, while those on heavier land in the midlands, which perhaps enjoyed more rain in the spring, were better, he said.

In Lincolnshire, wheat yields were 1.9t/ha (0.75t/acre) down on last year at Philip Shotbolt’s Ingthorpe Farm, Stamford, but harvest had run smoothly.

Having finished cutting Gallant winter wheat, yields had ranged from below 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) to above 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), averaging 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

“We’re very pleased with the quality – it is all top-spec milling quality.”

But in Angus, harvest had barely started, with crops just ripening and wet weather keeping combines under wraps, said Scotgrain’s Trevor Harriman.

“We have no oilseed rape cut yet at all – bits of spring barley have been done.

“Harvest isn’t late yet, but it’s becoming late – we’ll end up with oilseed rape, spring barley and wheat all ready together.”

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

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Yields are proving extremely variable this harvest, according to soil type and rainfall earlier in the spring.

Some crops are surprisingly good, like Roger Brian’s record Osprey oilseed rape at Park Farm, Hanbury, Worcestershire.

“We haven’t weighed it, but going on trailer loads I think it has done 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) at 8.8% moisture – maybe even a shade more. That’s the best we’ve ever had.”

Colin Philliphs also enjoyed bumper oilseed rape yields at Dairy Farm, Penhros, Monmouth, where 53ha (130 acres) of oilseed rape averaged 5.4t/ha (2.2t/acre).

Cabernet topped the yields at 5.8t/ha (2.35t/acre) in one field, with Vision and Osprey both at 5.1t/ha (2.05t/acre) and Castille at 4.8t/ha (1.95t/acre).

But in Wiltshire, James Dean had started combining spring barley at Church Farms, Salisbury, which was extremely variable.

The first field of Tipple produced just 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre), with the second much better at 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

Straw yields were also down, although were heavier on the better ground.

Many farmers in the South of England had cut winter wheat before oilseed rape this year, said Stewart Sinclair, independent agronomist at Hampshire Arable Systems.

Early wheat crops were unlikely to be the best.

“There will be better to come. But yields are all over the place – there are going to be a lot of low-yielding fields, between 4.9t/ha and 7.4t/ha (2-3t/acre), while others are near-record.”

Bill Harbour’s Solstice winter wheat at Gosmere Farm, Sheldwich, Kent, was yielding very well so far at over 11t/ha (4.5t/acre) at 13-16% moisture.

“It is a really good colour and should have a high protein content.” Bushelweights were also good at 79kg/hl. “We are very pleased.”

In East Anglia, winter barley harvest was about 90% complete, with oilseed rape some 70% through, according to Gleadell Agriculture.

Regional manager Trevor Gates said yields for both crops were slightly below average, within a wide band of variation. “It just depends what part of the region they are in and how much rain they got.”

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

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Harvest is progressing apace across the UK, and oilseed rape yields are generally better than expected.

Overall, rapeseed yields were about 3% down on last year, according to Owen Cligg, trading manager at United Oilseeds.

“We are seeing quite a few yield reports from the South and they tend to be holding up quite well, which is good news given the drought and the frost earlier in the year.”

Harvest was about 10% complete in the South, with progress only as far North as Lincolnshire by Tuesday (27 July).

Cabernet broke Stephen Horn’s record at Bushy Down Farm, Droxford, Hampshire, despite suffering frost damage earlier in the year.

So far the 57ha (140 acres) of Cabernet had yielded 4.8t/ha (1.95t/acre) over a weighbridge, while Vision averaged 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre).

New varieties also yielded exceptionally well at P & J Awdry & Sons’ Aston Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, despite some wide variation. 

Having cut all the large trial plots, Pioneer varieties ranged from 3.6t/ha to 4.7t/ha (1.45-1.9t/acre), with W22 topping the chart, said arable manager Martin Smart.

But in Lincolnshire, torrential hailstorms had decimated oilseed rape crops at Ben Atkinson’s Grange Farm, Rippingdale.

Yield loss ranged from 0.5t/ha (2.5t/acre) to 4t/ha (1.6t/acre) in oilseed rape crops which would otherwise have yielded up to 5t/ha (2t/acre), he said.

In Cambridgeshire, Anthony Morbey was hoping to get on combining again today (27 July) at Cole Ambrose, Ely, after being hampered by showers.

“We have cut one piece of Castille oilseed rape, which seemed to yield about average, but it’s a bit too early to tell.”

Winter oats were producing an excellent sample at Chessons Farm, Wadhurst, Sussex, where James Fuggle had also cut all his winter barley.

“We started cutting oats yesterday (26 July) and it’s a lovely sample, with a bushelweight of 52-58kg/hl.”

Saffron winter barley was a bit disappointing at 6.2-7.4t/ha (2.5-3t/acre).“It came in at 10% moisture, so we’ve lost 4-5% of weight already.”

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Harvest is slowly progressing across the Southern half of England, but many winter barley and oilseed rape crops are not yet ripe.

In Oxfordshire, Justin Blackwood’s combine was yet to start rolling, although his winter barley was almost ready.

“Some of the barley on the medium land will meet its full potential, but on the light ground it has really suffered,” he said.

“The combine meter will be going up and down as you go across different soil types.”

Further east, Peter Wombwell had tried to start combining oilseed rape at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, but it was not quite ripe.

“I think there will be a big start towards the middle and end of this week.”

However, David Hues had finished combining winter barley at Galteemore Farm, Beckhampton, Wiltshire, and said yields were about average.

The 60ha (150 acres) of Sequel and Suzuka yielded just over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with a bushelweight of 68.5kg/hl.

In Surrey, Giles Porter had also been combining winter barley, for a neighbour, while waiting for his oilseed rape to ripen.

“It weighed reasonably well on the combine – I think it yielded about 8.75t/ha (3.5t/acre), and there was lots of straw.”

Harvest was some two weeks behind last year in Kent and Sussex, said Weald Granary’s Kenton Beasley.

Winter barley was averaging about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with oilseed rape yields pegged at just over 2.5t/ha (1t/acre).

“We’re nicely placed for a quick harvest, although with the oilseed rape and winter barley starting so much later it is going to run over into the wheat.”

Winter barley yields were proving extremely variable in Wereham, Norfolk, where contractor Cliff Armsby had cut 162ha (400 acres) of Pearl.

Yields ranged from 3.7t/ha to 7.4t/ha (1.5-3t/acre), depending on soil type, he said.

Ben Atkinson, who started combining Excalibur yesterday (19 July) in Lincolnshire, said oilseed rape yields were about average.

“Yields are about on the five-year average, but perhaps 10% down on the past two years, when we sold over 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), which was exceptional.”

  • To contribute your harvest news contact our Harvest Highlights reporter, Olivia Cooper, on 01392 877356 or e-mail Olivia.cooper@btinternet.com.

Harvest roundup: Tuesday

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Drizzle has brought harvest to a standstill again in Scotland, but elsewhere combining has continued apace.

In Burnside of Tynet, Clochan, Morayshire, Frank Thomson was rained off today (15 September). “It was wet on Sunday and it’s all stop-start again.”

Crops were testing at 20% moisture yesterday, so he decided not to carry on combining. “The way prices are you just can’t afford to be drying down from those levels.”

But in East Lothian, James Grant-Suttie had a good finish to harvest at Balgone Farms, North Berwick, and was now drilling his winter barley.

“Everything is pretty much cut around here – most people finished towards the end of last week,” he said.

Harvest in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was still only about 60% complete, but Robert Craig had finished at Carse Hall, Ballykelly.

“Everybody has probably a couple of weeks backlog because of the weather – we weren’t able to combine for five weeks.”

Chris Vowles finished combining at Freemans Farm, Barrow Gurney, Bristol, yesterday, after five days of non-stop combining.

His Waggon spring barley proved extremely variable, ranging from just 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) to 5t/ha (2t/acre).

The dry spring was to blame, with crops on the lighter land suffering, while those on heavier soil performed better, he said.

In Haverfordwest, Geoff Thomas was relieved to be in the home straight at Pantycoch Farm, after a frustrating couple of months.

“It’s been never-ending – I’ve had enough, but now it’s finally stopped raining we are coming to the end.”

Further south, in Devon, John Moss was busy combining, with about 20% of harvest left to do.

“Yields are all over the place. The crops are better in Devon than Cornwall, where they were knocked by the constant humidity and rain.”

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Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Tuesday

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: Tuesday

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Continuing unsettled weather is frustrating attempts to combine across much of the country, and quality is definitely suffering.

Farmers got a lot cut in the North-East over the Bank Holiday weekend, but still had about 75% of their wheat left to cut, said Gary Bright at GrainCo.

Yields were below last year across all commodities, with wheat yielding about average. “Hagbergs have been noticeably dropping as the rain continues.”

In Aberdeenshire, harvest was about 40% through, and just a few days behind normal, said Doug Fowlie of Millhill Farm, Longside.

He had cut half of his spring barley, but was yet to make a start on the winter wheat or spring oats.

At the opposite end of the country, in Cornwall, Jon Bond still had two thirds of his cereals to cut at Trerule Farm.

“The weather has been really bad. It’s not as wet as last year but it’s just as depressing. The wheat is sprouting and I haven’t dared look at the oats – they are starting to go down.”

In Shropshire, wheat harvest was about three-quarters complete, according to independent agronomist Bryce Rham.

Most crops were still standing, and were not suffering too badly in the weather. “It’s not as bad as last year, but we desperately need a dry week.”

Persistent showers were also keeping Colin Keevil’s new combine under wraps at Chapel Farm, West Knoyle, Wiltshire.

Harvest was only halfway through, and he hadn’t even started cutting wheat. “It’s horrendous – we just can’t get two clear days.”

Stephen Bumstead said this was the worst harvest for 20 years at New Manor Farm, Stotfold, Bedfordshire.

Yields had been below average, and prices were disastrous, leading to the lowest gross margins ever. “It’s pretty disappointing really.”

 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: Tuesday

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: Tuesday

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The East-West divide is becoming increasingly apparent, with farmers in East Anglia blazing through harvest, while those in the West struggle on.

Fengrain’s John Whitelam said most farmers in East Anglia were likely to have finished harvest by the weekend.

“What a difference a week makes. The crops are drier – they’re now below 15% moisture, so they’re easier to combine.”

Cereal quality was exceptional in Norfolk, and harvest was about 65% through in East Anglia, said Andrew Dewing of Dewing Grain.

“We’re having a great harvest. We’ve had a 99.9% success rate with winter malting barley, and it’s a similar story on the springs.”

Wheat quality had been equally good, averaging 13.1% protein, 76kg/hl and decent Hagberg numbers. “I haven’t seen any problem with Hagberg at all.”

But in central Southern England half of all spring barley was failing malting tests, said Mike Clay of Hampshire Grain, with split skins and fusarium to blame.

Farmers were about three-quarters of the way through spring barley harvest in the area, and just 10% through the wheat.

In Somerset poor yields and tricky weather had made this the worst harvest ever at Richard Payne’s Manor Farm, Heathfield.

Although the early drilled wheat had yielded reasonably well, later wheat was disastrous. “Everything was compromised from the word go.”

Farmers in Scotland were also struggling with showery weather, according to Highland Grain’s Simon Barry.

Spring barley harvest was about 5-10% through, and quality was excellent so far. “But it’s drizzling today – we’re champing at the bit and ready to go. It’s just frustrating.”

In Lincolnshire harvest was about three-quarters complete, and yields had been excellent, said Simon Schaanning of Honey Pot Grain Storage.

“There are a lot of people asking for extra storage on both oilseeds and cereals.”

However, high yields had diluted milling wheat protein contents, which averaged just 11.5-12.5%, 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: Tuesday

Milling wheat quality is excellent in East Anglia, but quality and progress elsewhere are somewhat variable.

John Whitelam, marketing director of Fengrain, said wheat harvest was about halfway through in Essex, and 10-15% complete in Lincolnshire

“The cereal crop has not been affected by the weather – it is still standing and we haven’t found any mycotoxins.

“Generally speaking, the quality is average to above average – I would have thought millers will be able to maximise their usage of British wheat.”

In Lincolnshire, John Lucas hoped to get into his winter wheat this afternoon, having been being rained off after cutting a headland yesterday.

“It is still over 20% moisture, but I’m hoping to get on later today.” So far the Oakley had yielded reasonably well, and Cordiale was just about ripe.

Further north, Keith Snowball had made a start on winter wheat near Brandsby, Yorkshire, averaging about 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre).

“Wheats don’t look as though they’re going to break any records,” he said. “And as with every crop we’ve combined, the big disappointment is the price.”

In Northamptonshire, Steve Tarry was ploughing today, having finished his winter barley and oilseed rape at the weekend, with thrilling OSR results.

“It was a phenomenal crop – its ability to side branch into bare patches has been amazing.”

Winter barley and oilseed rape were almost finished in the West Country, too, said Devon Grain’s Duncan Lyon.

Harvest was about 15% complete in the area, but wheat was not yet ripe. 

 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: Tuesday

Farmers are making reasonable progress into winter wheat in the East, but further west rain continues to keep combines at a standstill.

Camgrain had received about 40,000t of wheat so far, and early indications of Group 1 milling quality were excellent, said manager Philip Darke.

Although proteins ranged from 10.5% to 16.6%, they were averaging 13.1%, with good bushelweights and Hagbergs over 300.

Farmers had cut 5-10% of their wheat in Kent, said Grain Harvesters’ Charles Roberts, and quality was reasonable, although he had heard reports of sprouted grains in Sussex.

“It’s early days yet but the weather is not helping. We have had some quite humid weather, which isn’t going to do the wheat any favours.”

Fortunately, the Met Office was forecasting better weather towards the end of the week and for the next 10-14 days, with the South and East set to benefit from the driest and sunniest spells.

In Hampshire, Richard Monk had made a start on his oats, after finishing off the winter barley yesterday (3 August).

“The oats are all standing, and although they are starting to look a bit weathered they should all make seed quality,” he said.

But further west, harvest was progressing very slowly, with almost incessant rain keeping combines at a standstill.

Cannington Grain at Bridgwater had only received 2000t of oilseed rape, 2000t of winter barley and 200t of oats by today – well behind a normal year.

Most cereals were coming in at 17-20% moisture, with rapeseed averaging 13-18% moisture.

In Shropshire, very little had been cut, and a few crops of Alchemy winter wheat were showing signs of sprouting, said Julian Walker of Shropshire Grain.

“There are loads of fields that are just half done.” Winter barley and oilseed rape harvest was only about 25% complete.

Hailstorms had damaged oilseed rape crops in Norfolk, according to agronomist Peter Riley.

“A hailstorm on Thursday knocked 20-30% of about-to-be harvested rapeseed onto the deck – the ground was littered with seed and pod shells.”

However, the storms were quite localised, and after a reasonably dry weekend farmers had cut about 70% of oilseed rape and around 90% of their winter barley, 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: Tuesday

A rare dry spell has enabled farmers to make progress on harvest across the country, with combines rolling from Devon to Northumberland.

The earliest winter barley and oilseed rape was now being cut in Devon, said Duncan Lyon, store manager at Devon Grain, although most fields were still not fit.

Early indications of quality were reasonable, but some crops did suffer in last week’s heavy rain and wind, he added.

In Shropshire, Richard Bruckshaw made a start on his oilseed rape near Telford yesterday (27 July).

So far he had cut 16ha (40 acres) of Excalibur at 11.5% moisture, and an average yield of about 4t/ha (1.6t/acre).

But in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, harvest had hardly started, said Robert Craig of Carse Hall, Ballykelly.

Less than 2% of the winter barley had been cut, and most was still 10 days away.

In the North East, harvest was just underway, with some farmers combining winter barley over the weekend.

A decent wind was helping to dry crops out after occasional showers, said Grainco’s Gary Bright, with barley cut yesterday (27 July) at about 15% moisture.

The rain was starting to raise concerns over quality in Norfolk, where winter barley harvest was about 25% through, said Owen Southwood, trader at Dewing Grain.

“You’ve got to be concerned now – some of the winter barleys are very fit. We might see some splitting from the crops cut after the rain.”

Oilseed rape was also at risk of shedding in Hampshire, where some crops had been sprayed off for up to three weeks.

Mike Clay, store manager at Hampshire Grain, said rapeseed harvest was only about 10% complete in the area.

“We’d expect to be into the thick of it by now. The rain has just been enough to stop people going.”

 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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