20 August 2001
Harvest Latest: ‘Yield all over the place’

By Tom Allen-Stevens and Tom Hood

A WET weekend has meant a delayed start to harvest for some growers this week. Many have found wheat yield and quality have varied considerably.

“Yields are all over the place, with the weather during the winter,” Nick Matthews, of Bartholomews in Chichester told told FARMERS WEEKLY on Monday (20 August).

“There are some good yields and some terrible yields. [The wheat is] getting to the stage where it needs to be knocked off.”

So far, quality has been within spec, he says, but variability is bound to show. “Some areas may be more susceptible to falling quality.”

Early reports of Malacca reveal that this is one variety that may have escaped sprouting problems that have reportedly hit other varieties.

“It was full spec, no problems!” says Kent grower Martin Boulden of his early harvested Malacca that has already been sold.

Brian Totman in Andover is also pleased with his Malacca. “It has done close to 4t/acre (10t/ha).” This is above average for the farm.

But getting the combine out of the shed is proving to be a problem for Dorset grower Keith Harris.

“Yesterday we had 23mm of rain in an hour. That will stop us until tomorrow.” The yield of his Savannah has varied from 7.5-9.1t/ha.

Initial reports show peas have fared reasonably well, while the end of the wheat harvest is now in sight for many growers across the south.

And theres better news on the weather front, says the Met Office: with the last of the showers now dying out, the next few days will bring warm and sunny weather.

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