Harvest is going slowly at Sheepdrove Farm, Lambourn, Berkshire, but contractor George Brown hopes to pick up the pace this weekend.

“The couch in the corn is just dreadful – it’s been so wet for such a long time that the organic boys are having a dreadful time,” he said.

“At the moment I’m cutting all the rubbish bits because they’re drier. It’s been so wet that the Westminster spring barley has brackled over and the weeds have grown up through it.

“But while the crop is as dirty as anything, it’s thrashing beautifully and is producing a lovely bold sample. It’s probably yielding 3.7-5t/ha, which isn’t bad.”

Triticale had gone flat, and yielded a very average 3.7t/ha, while the rye had been pretty disastrous, said Mr Brown.

“We haven’t got into any where here yet. There was a field of rye I cut at Lambourn that had been undersown with clover before realising it was on contract.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever cut a crop with the combine and made silage right behind it. It made some lovely silage!”

Most farmers still had a fair bit of combining to do in the area, but Mr Brown’s father Richard was hopefully finishing up at Priors Farm, Peasemore, today (7 September).

“We’ve got a second combine on a hire or sale option, so as soon as we’ve finished at Priors we’ll have two combines to go at the remaining 162ha at Sheepdrove,” he said.

“If we get a few dry days we should be able to get finished up early next week.”