31 August 2001
Harvest latest: Yield dependant on soil

By Tom Hood

Weather in Scotland has stopped progress today, but the harvest is still varied in yield and quality. In England soil type seems to have dictated yield.

Harvest has been a disappointment for Roger Douglas, who farms on heavy land near Louth in Lincolnshire. He has now finished harvest.

“On the Wolds its been relatively good, but weve struggled on the heavier land.”

Yields are below average for Mark Middleton, who farms at Pytcheley near Northampton. He has almost finished wheat and has started combining beans.

“Yields are poor, but no worse than expected. I knew where the disasters would be so did not get excited when I got into the field.”

Farmer and agronomist Ben Davies, near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, has had varied wheat crops in a late harvest.

“There is a mixed bag for wheat on yield and quality, and similarly for spring barley,” says Barry Howard of Framlingham Farmers.

“Malacca Hagberg has held high at about 220, but still seeing ones as high as 260.”

“Spring barley samples have had to be rejected with some skinning and pre-germination problems and the samples coming in look weathered.”

Wheat yields have been variable for Andrew Nott, who farms with his father in Suffolk. They finished on Tuesday.

“Wheat yields varied from 2.2-4t/acre. We are generally 0.75t/acre down on average.”

Weather has made winter barley and winter wheat crops sprout for Scott Adam, who farms at Kippen in West Stirlingshire.

“Winter barley took about three weeks to get off since 27th July. Weve had a rotten two or three weeks. There was sprouting and brackling.”

Glyn Whitehead, of Aberdeen Grain says spring barley in central Scotland is good.

“Weve seen about 13% of the total malting crop enter the store and about 96% will be used for malting.”

Michael Howie, who farms near Amble in Northumberland has combined all his quality milling wheat and is now waiting for the weather to dry for feed wheat.

Milling wheat averaged 8.1t/ha (3.3t/acre). “We expect 3.5t/acre on milling wheat, but with good quality, the premium is equivalent to a 4t/acre feed crop.”

Wheat harvest was started two days ago on Ian Jacksons farm at Bowsden, five miles from the Scottish border. Rain has since stopped any more progress.


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