Rod Smith is becoming increasingly concerned about the standing crops at Beal Farm, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland.

“There is forecast rain and wind for the next 10 days and, with us being by the coast, I don’t relish harvesting crops which are lying,” he said.

So far he had only cut 16ha of the specialist spring barley variety Golden Premier, which had averaged 4.15t/ha.

“It was a wet forecast for today (15 August), so I just decided to get some cut yesterday – although it came in around 19.5% moisture, and up to 21% on the headland.”

 Mr Smith reckoned he should get a good premium on the barley, but said wheat harvest was going to be some time away yet.

“We’ve got 48ha of spring barley left to cut and then 280ha of wheat, although that’s as green as leeks at the moment and probably won’t be ready until mid September.

“T4 applications have been a godsend this year to smarten the crop up, although I think about 20ha which has been under water will be written off.”

The farm’s coastal location meant earlier wet weather caused severe flooding from the tide and rain, he said.

“This year’s the first time I’ve picked wild oats with water going over my welly top. Some low lying fields were under a lot of water but we’ll not know the extent of the damage until we cut them.”


Crop: Spring Barley
Variety: Golden Premier
Area: 64ha
Yield: 4.15t/ha