Barleys begin – but it’s looking late

Harvest is set to start infuriatingly late, with many farmers still not having begun cutting their barleys.

AL Wilkinson Contracting managed to start on last Sunday (July 22), four days later than last year.

The Cassia winter barley, which they were cutting at Stanton Harcourt Farms, was yielding about 6.9t/ha and coming off at 14.4% moisture.

“We’ve had solid rain for the last two months so the ground conditions for our farms and the whole of West Oxfordshire can’t get any worse,” says Alec.

“We have started harvest on our lighter ground, but have already had combine and trailers causing damage and compaction.

“We are concerned about the forthcoming harvest due to the weather and also the wheat crop has high levels of disease in the ear, therefore bushel weights will be a problem.”

The oilseed rape, however, looked “promising” and Mr Wilkison was planning to start cutting this on Tuesday (July 24).

Once harvest gets under way across the country, Farmers Weekly be again be following progress through our Harvest Highlights coverage, giving a rolling record of what’s being cut and where, with details of yields and quality.

Readers who like taking photos will also be pleased to know we’re again running our front cover picture competition, giving you the chance to see one of your pictures grace the front cover of the magazine.

All you’ve got to do is send us your best shots of the season, either by emailing them or uploading them directly to our Harvest Highlights photo gallery.

We’re looking for a snap that captures the spirit of this year’s experience (right now, that’s “wet and late”) but it could focus on the crop, the combines, a tractor, people hard at work, or perhaps a more unusual aspect of the season.

Front cover photo competition: How to enter

  • Either email your pictures to or upload them direct to the Harvest Highlights photo gallery at Pictures also need to be of high enough resolution for us to print, but please keep files under 4MB. Remember to include a little bit of information about where it was taken and what’s happening.

More on this topic

Visit our Harvest Highlights page

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