10-15% left in Co. Down

September is proving a difficult month for farmers in Co. Down, Northern Ireland, says Graham Furey from Castleview, Killyleagh.

“There is still probably 10-15% of harvest to do in our area. Most of it is spring barley, although there is some late sown winter wheat, too.”

Mr Furey had 8ha (20 acres) of March-sown winter wheat to cut himself, having finished spring barley at the weekend (19 September). “It’s looking fine – it’s nothing more than ripe.”

The first wheat Alchemy had yielded about 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre), with second wheat Einstein coming off at 7.9t/ha (3.2t/acre).

“It’s been nothing astounding, but nice and consistent. I’m pretty happy with that.”

Concerto spring barley had been very slow to ripen, but was pleasing once it was ready, at 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre).

“Most people seem to be pleasantly surprised with the spring barley – my neighbour’s Concerto did 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

“That said, a lot of people are disappointed with Westminster – it seems to brackle and lose a lot of heads as soon as you get any bad weather on it.”

Remaining spring barley – with the exception of Westminster, still looked alright, said Mr Furey. “It will probably be the weekend before it’s dry enough to get it.

“Anyone who has sprayed it off is starting to worry, because that does affect the standing ability after 10-14 days.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Alchemy
Yield: 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre)

Variety: Einstein
Yield: 7.9t/ha (3.2t/acre)

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Concerto
Yield: 5.6t/ha (2.25t/acre)

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