Water is lying in the fields at Ian Bird’s Catchgate Farm, Castle Eden, Hartlepool, with just 7ha (17 acres) of barley safely in the barn.
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“It’s absolutely desperate – I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mr Bird, a FW Barometer Grower. “It is wetter than it was last year – the land is soaking – it’s difficult to travel on some of our driest land today.”
Mr Bird cut 7ha (17 acres) of Saffron winter barley at 18% moisture on Tuesday (5 August), with yields below average at 7t/ha (2.7t/acre). He still had 80ha (200 acres) of Saffron and Retriever to cut, as well as 89ha (220 acres) of oilseed rape – some of which was swathed three weeks ago.
After that would be 400ha (1000 acres) of feed wheat, which was not yet ripe, he said.
Crop: Winter barley
Area: 7ha (17 acres)
Yield: 7t/ha (2.7t/acre)
Crop: Oilseed rape
Area: 89ha (220 acres)
Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Einstein, Oakley, Claire, Timber and Gladiator
Area: 400ha (1000 acres)
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high