Edward Whitfield is busy combining at Gibbs Farm, Spalding, Lincolnshire, today (21 August) but storm clouds are gathering.

“We’ve cut about 243ha of 405ha of wheat, and like everyone else there’s good news and bad news,” he said.

Early drilled Grafton had done well, at 8.9-9.8t/ha and with a bushel weight of 72-74kg/hl.

Early Cordiale has also yielded well on light land, at 75-77kg/hl, but Duxford was abysmal at 6.4-6.8t/ha and with a bushel weight of just 50-55kg/hl.

A mixture of PR46W21, Sesame and Cabernet oilseed rape averaged 4.3t/ha. “They were some very mixed crops, but we’re very pleased with the average yield,” said Mr Whitfield.

Having had just over two weeks of fine weather, farmers in the area were anxious to cut as much as possible before forecast rain arrived, he added.

“A lot of crops are only just fit, and the straw is quite green so it’s slow work. If we get more wet weather it could be disastrous for some parts of the country.

“We’ve had to dodge one wet part of a field, but some friends in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire are having to leave a lot aside as it’s just too wet underfoot.”


Crop: Oilseed rape
Varieties: PR46W21, Sesame and Cabernet
Area: 162ha
Yield; 4.3t/ha


Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Grafton, Cordiale and Duxford
Area: 243ha
Yield: 6.4-9.8t/ha