Tim Cox finished most of his harvest at Preston Farm, Drewsteignton, Devon, on Sunday (9 September), but is struggling to get the last 30ha of linseed.

“It’s been a very hard, strenuous and expensive harvest,” he said. “Stopping and starting has constantly increased our fuel and labour costs.”

Having just started the linseed harvest, it was too early to be sure of yields, which he estimated to be 1.7t/ha. Last year, the same crop reached an average of 2.2t/ha.

However, Westminster barley came out better than expected, considering the season.

Yields were down by 20% on last year, at an average of 5.6t/ha, although Mr Cox said he was pleased that the quality had passed for malting.   

Deigo first wheat produced higher quality than expected, although yields were low at 7.4t/ha. Last year it averaged 9.1t/ha.

The second wheat was more disappointing, with an average quality and 28% less yield than the previous year. Higher prices had only compensated for about a third of the lower output, he said.

Mr Cox had also cut haylage, which was of very average quality. “It’s certainly not good enough for the horse world.

“We now really need to finish harvesting the linseed, as we can’t get on with drilling the first wheat until it’s gone.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Diego
Yield: 7.4t/ha

Crop: Spring Barley
Variety: Westminster
Yield: 5.6t/ha