7 August 2001
Harvest 2001: Worrying starts as rain continues

By Tom Allen-Stevens

SOUTHERN growers are beginning to worry about the wheat harvest as wet weather continues to hamper efforts to get on.

In Dorset combining was brought to an abrupt end on Thursday due to rain, for Nick Harding, who farms at Tarrant Rushton near Blandford Forum in Dorset.

“Weve got 65 acres of Durum wheat which doesnt need any more rain. We shall go for that first,” he told the FARMERS WEEKLY on Tuesday (7 August).

Where growers have managed to get on, yield has been slightly lower while quality has been pleasantly high.

Martin Boulden, who farms at Aldington, in Kent, reports that so far all of his Hereward, Soissons and Malacca crops have had Hagbergs over 300.

Its a similar picture with the barleys in the North and in Scotland, where yield has been slightly below par, although better than expected, and quality has been good.

John McNiven, who farms at South Lambieletham near St. Andrews, started combining winter barley on Friday (3 August).

“It is surprising how well it did in the circumstances. It was drilled in atrocious conditions, and in March it was still brown,” he said.

The forecast is for unsettled conditions to continue, but drying up with sunshine towards the weekend.