Harvest started on 4 July for Norfolk contractor Jason Armsby – but he hasn’t turned a wheel since Friday (15 July).
“It’s the earliest we’ve started in a long while,” he said. “But Saturday was a dreadful day and we haven’t been on since.”
So far he had cut 57ha (140 acres) of Pearl winter barley on light land near Newmarket, and another 8ha (20 acres) on light land closer to Kings Lynn.
“It didn’t yield very well – it averaged about 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre) – one field would be 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) and the next would be less than 0.4t/ha (1t/acre). It just died off.”
Mr Arsmby had not sprayed off the winter barley at his home Squares Farm, Wereham, as it was tillering so strongly after the rain.
“It’s so green – and we need all the yield we can get from it.”
Oilseed rape had been desiccated for about three weeks, he added. “We want to be cracking on now.”
Crop: Winter barley
Yield: 65ha (160 acres)
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)