Geoff Alderslade has just 12ha of winter wheat left to cut at West Fellgate Farm, Wardley, Tyne & Wear, but harvest was rained off again last night (18 August).

“It’s just stop-start,” he said. “We would have finished yesterday if it hadn’t have rained.”

However, he had had a good weekend, having started combining wheat on Friday and continuing right through, while showers stopped combines all around him.

“It all goes straight into Tynegrain, and we haven’t had the weighbridge tickets back yet, but I think the first field, which lay very wet, did 7.4t/ha, while the rest should have done about 9.9t/ha.”

The Leeds and Horatio had been coming off at between 15% and 19% moisture, said Mr Alderslade. “It’s averaged about 17%, which we can live with.”

See also: HSE farm safety tips on bale stacking.

Unfortunately, the remaining 12ha was on the outskirts of Sunderland, and Mr Alderslade was keen to get it cut before the local lads set fire to it.

“As soon as it gets dry they set fire to it – they’ve already tried little bits but we managed to put it out.”

As well as the winter wheat, he had spring wheat and beans left to do, having finished winter barley and oilseed rape.

“The Element and Cassia barley averaged 8.4t/ha, and the Troy oilseed rape did 4.2t/ha,” he said.

“It didn’t look very good all year, but when it went through the combine it was alright. I don’t know where it came from, but it came from somewhere.”