Rain has brought harvest to a halt across much of the country, with shades of last year’s flooding seen in the West.

Two inches of rain last night (28 July) washed away streams and brought back unwelcome memories of last year’s harvest to Andrew Goodman near Worcester. “I haven’t checked the spring barley yet to see if it’s gone flat,” he said.

Heavy thunderstorms had also stopped play in Sussex, where James Fuggle had been combining winter oats at a pleasing 7.3t/ha (3t/acre). “They were fantastic – they came of at 11% moisture and 66kg/hl,” he said.

Although rain had also stopped harvest in Dorset, a new combine was helping Nick Finding to race through his oilseed rape and barley, with pleasing yields all round.

But in Lincolnshire, the rain had failed to materialise at Chris Hewis’s farm near Habrough, enabling him to continue combining his Flagon winter barley. “It’s yielding very well, at above 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), which is 30% up on last year,” he said.

However, his Excalibur oilseed rape was disappointing at 3.2t/ha (1.3t/acre).

In Somerset, Jeremy Walker had finished his winter barley, and was waiting for his oilseed rape to ripen. The Saffron winter barley had yielded extremely well at almost 9.9t/ha (4t/acre) and nearly 70kg/hl.

“It’s the best crop we’ve ever grown,” he said. It had also produced 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) of straw, which Mr Walker was loading today.

 

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