Keith Snowball has been extremely lucky with the weather at High Farm, Brandsby, Yorkshire, having combined all weekend while showers skirted around him.
“We’re cutting Claire wheat at 16% moisture today (18 August) – it’s raining 190º around us but is still dry here,” he said.
Yields; while not exceptional, had been good, with the Claire yielding 9.4t/ha and all wheats averaging over 8.6t/ha.
“Crusoe on our own farm has done better than the Gallant, and we’ve still got the best lump to cut,” said Mr Snowball. “But Santiago and Oakley were disappointing – I think they were affected by more disease earlier in the season.”
Hagberg falling numbers had held up so far, but protein contents had been low, he added. “You can’t have both yield and protein.”
One of the most challenging aspects to this harvest was that all the wheat was ready at once. “Within a seven-mile radius of the home farm there is a 500-foot difference in altitude, but everything is ready at the same time – I’ve never know anything like it.”
See also: Seven unusual harvest photos.
Many people, who had been less lucky with the weather, still had a lot of wheat to cut in the area, said Mr Snowball.
“Including contracting, we cut about 1053ha and have got 200ha left. But there’s a lot of wheat to cut further afield.
“The Claire has shed a few grains and we’re smashing the straw in some places, so it’s getting a bit over-ripe now.”
Barley yields had been good, although quality was disappointing, he added. “It’s mostly Volume, and bushel weights are down at 58-60kg/hl. But on one farm Volume yielded 1.2t/ha more than Glacier despite that.
“I think yields will average over 7.4t/ha – it’s just been a good barley year.”
However, oilseed rape had been the let-down of the season, averaging just 2.8-3.5t/ha. “Excalibur did do well on two farms, with one field yielding 5t/ha where it had been direct drilled into barley stubble.”