Grain in tanker (c) Tim Scrivener

Poor bushel weights caused a 30% drop in wheat yields at Lower Norton Farm, Winchester, Hampshire, where Tom Coleman finished combining on 9 September. 

Wheat yields averaged 7t/ha, with bushel weights at 61–69kg/hl and little variation between varieties, he said. 

“Our five year average is between 10t and 11t/ha, so we’re right down on yield. It’s depressing when you’re trying to overfill lorries to get a full load at 29 tonnes.”

Rapeseed didn’t perform too badly, with yields slightly below average at between 3.4t/ha and 3.8t/ha.

“Our long term average is probably closer to 4t/ha, so it’s not a disaster.”

Spring barley was up to 10% below budget, coming in between 6t and 6.5t/ha.

“Quality has been variable as screenings have been high,” said Mr Coleman. “But, again, it’s not been a disaster.”

Yields and quality were just one concern, with damage from trailers and combine wheelings another.

“There’s certainly some damage and it’s going to make for challenging seedbeds,” he said.

“This is the fifth wet harvest we’ve had. Luckily we’ve had three or four cracking harvests (in terms of yield) but this is just a slog.”

Despite this, Mr Coleman had got on well with land work, with all the rapeseed drilled 10 days ago.

“Luckily we’re on chalk so we’ve managed to get on well. I think it’s just going to be a year we need to draw a line under.”