Combining is back underway for contractor Chris Smith at Easingwold in Yorkshire today (3 September), despite being grounded for a few days.
“Yesterday was the first time the combine moved for a few days,” he said. “Ground conditions were pretty wet and I got stuck a few times but we’re combining alright today.”
Damp conditions were reflected in the grains, with moisture contents sitting at 18% when he started cutting this morning. However, the current crop of wheat he was in looked pleasing.
“We’re cutting wheat now, which is yielding 7.8t/ha off combine, but it is a second wheat,” he said.
Despite not being grown for a premium market, the sample was so good it was being sent for milling due to such good protein content.
“It’s a blooming good sample compared to some of the crops I’ve seen,” said Mr Smith. “Yield-wise it’s been better than expected but not as good as last year.”
Mr Smith expected to move into spring barley this afternoon, and hoped yields would mirror the winter barley, which did over 7.5t/ha.
However, it was winter barley straw which brought the biggest surprise.
“Last year the same acreage of winter barley yielded 49 Heston bales. This year it did 110, which just shows how much there was.
“I’ve never seen so much straw in my life. We couldn’t get it under the trailers.”
Oilseed rape harvest was now finished, with a yield of 2.5t/ha on one farm, and about 3.5t/ha on another.
“The rapeseed was, surprisingly, too dry. It came in at 5.8% moisture,” he said. “One customer was thinking of putting it through the washer.”