Combines back out in force

A few dry days have enabled combines to get back out in most parts of the country, although showers continued to frustrate some farmers desperate to get on.

In Cornwall Martin Howlett managed to cut some barley at on Sunday, but a two-hour breakdown didn’t help, and it was raining again today (15 September).

There was still oilseed rape to be cut in the area, he said. “I’ve never heard of that in the middle of September – it just shows how desperate people have got.”
In Shropshire, Richard Bruckshaw finished combining wheat on Saturday, and was thrilled with his yields.

Just down the road, Sandy Walker had been on combining all weekend, although travelling was a real problem on the wet ground, he said.

In Lincs, Alan Hind was helping out neighbouring farmers, having finished his own harvest a fortnight ago.

“We had a brilliant harvest – the best we’ve had,” he said. But some large farms in the area still had 1000s of acres to cut.

Tom Hipwell had been nibbling away at wheat at 22% moisture over the past 10 days at Sandy, Beds, although had dropped to 16% yesterday.

Some wheat was suffering from sprouting and fusarium. “But it’s looking a lot better in the sunshine today.”

In the Scottish Borders, Stuart Fuller-Shapcott had finally finished his oilseed rape, but was yet to make a start on his spring barley or winter wheat.

“The guiding factor will be where I can travel. I would never get up some of the steep fields at the moment.”


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