Better weather across most of England has brought the combines out in force, but farmers further north are still struggling.
In Fife, Andrew Peddie had not cut anything for the past 10 days, and was really struggling with ground conditions.
He was about halfway through his wheat, but had not cut any spring barley. “If we could just get four or five dry days it would make all the difference.”
But a couple of fine days in Yorkshire meant Caley Sackur hoped to finish harvest today (18 September) or tomorrow.
“It’s been one of the most difficult harvests I have known,” he said. “Even when we started wheat we’d lost the Hagberg – it was already down to 170.”
In Gloucestershire, Ian Branstone had 14ha (35 acres) of wheat left to cut, but his combine was broken down today.
“All the grain has sprouted now – we’ve lost some bumper yields of wheat.”
Philip Chamberlain hoped to finish harvest at Crowmarsh Battle Farm, Wallingford, Oxon, tomorrow (19 September).
He had 60ha (150 acres) of Alchemy to finish, and it was still standing, at 15% moisture. Bushelweights had dropped, but were still at about 72kg/hl.
Jon Bond had managed to cut 28ha (70 acres) of wheat this week at WH Bond & Sons’ Trerule Farm, Saltash, Cornwall.
That left him with 40ha (100 acres) to go, all of which was appalling quality. “We’re cutting a crop that was nearly ready seven weeks ago,” he said. “We’re at least a month behind.”
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
See the New Farm Crops website.