This year’s harvest may have been the slowest and latest for more than 20 years, but more settled weather has enabled most farmers to get on combining this week.

Sandy Allison had recorded 236mm of rain in August at Turnhouse Farm, Edinburgh – about four times the usual monthly average.

Harvest was about three weeks behind normal, he said. “The last time harvest went on this long was 1985.”

Richard Kane had not been able to combine for the past 10 days in Londonderry, and was yet to make a start on his spring barley.

“It’s starting to sprout now,” he said. “But it’s all still standing. If we could get just three dry days in a row we’d get it finished.”

He reckoned farmers still had about 30% of the harvest to gather in the area.

Duncan Whiteman had nearly finished harvest at Arlescott Farm, Telford, Shropshire, and was pleased with yields so far.

“We got the majority of the wheat done in six days – we’ve been almost finished for three weeks,” he said.

And in Wiltshire, recruiting as much help as possible had enabled David Butler to press on through harvest, leaving him just 14% of his wheat to finish off.

“Now the pressure is off a little, but we don’t regret pushing on because what’s left in the field is very heavily sprouted and very poor quality.”

Chris Cockayne finished harvest last night (15 September) in Nottinghamshire, and was pleased with yields overall.

“The quality has dropped away at the end, but we’ve been quite lucky here and are very relieved to have finished.”

He reckoned there was still 10% of the wheat to cut in the area, with some of the big estates struggling in particular.

 

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See the New Farm Crops website.