Phil Dowson is making slow progress with ploughing at High House Farm, Richmond, Yorkshire, and still has two thirds of his wheat to cut.

“It’s been a bizarre season, but at least we’re finally enjoying a nice spell of wheat, and are getting the wheat in fairly dry,” he said.

“I was combining at a neighbour’s yesterday (4 September) and it was coming off at 14-15% moisture.

“A few weeks ago we couldn’t do anything because it was so wet – the sun has started shining just in time.”

However, ground conditions were still pretty soggy, said Mr Dowson. “It’s really slow going. Getting crops back in is going to be a drawn-out process.”

Oilseed rape had produced just 45t off 16ha – half the yield produced last year. “It was Excalibur, but I don’t think it was a variety problem – there are plenty of farmers saying similar things.

“This year 3.7t/ha is a good yield, whereas it was 5t/ha last year.”

Wheat harvest got underway on Sunday (2 September), and so far Mr Dowson had cut 17ha of Oakley and Santiago first wheats.

“It seems to be running at 8-8.6t/ha, which is fairly par for the course around here. Second wheats will do worse than that.”

Bushel weights were low, at 65-70kg/hl, he added. “But we sell to a local pig farmer so it isn’t much of a problem.”


Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Oakley and Santiago
Area: 17ha
Yield: 8-8.6t/ha


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Excalibur
Area: 16ha
Yield: 2.8t/ha