Torrential rain last night (10 August) means Daniel Harding, partner at Alvis contracting, will not be combining today near Redhill, Bristol.
“We’ve missed a good chunk of the storms, but it doesn’t look like we’ll get much cut before the weekend,” he said.
However, given some dry weather, he only had about a week’s combining left to do.
“We’ve got quite a lot of small fields so we run three older machines. With the showers being so localised, you can have one rained off while the other two keep going elsewhere.”
See also: How even heavy machinery can ease soil compaction.
So far Mr Harding had finished combining winter barley and oilseed rape, and had just started cutting winter wheat and oats.
“The Cabernet and Ovation oilseed rape yielded 3.6-4.4t/ha, which was a bit disappointing,” he said.
“Three years ago we were easily doing 5.4t/ha, and given the growing season I thought we would get back to that this year.”
However, to compensate, the Cassia winter barley managed 8.6t/ha as a second cereal; well up on its usual norm of 7.4t/ha. “And we didn’t have to dry anything, which is a big help,” said Mr Harding.
So far, the winter wheat and oats were standing well despite the rain, he added. “They were late-drilled, so the straw is still a little bit green; it’s really only just ready.”