Combines roll, but rain continues to frustrate

Combines made a start on winter wheat over the weekend, but rain continued to frustrate growers across the country.

James Murrell started cutting Oakley winter wheat near Norwich on Saturday (16 August), which was yielding above average at more than 11t/ha (4.5t/acre).

But while Mr Murrell’s farm had avoided the worst of the weather, his father’s farm nearby suffered from heavy hail over the weekend, which had flattened a lot of crops in the area, he said.

In Cambridgshire, wheat was ready to cut at Martin Spence’s Wolvey Holes Farm, Ealing, but wet weather and a lack of drying facilities was holding harvest back.

“I haven’t cut anything,” he said. “I’m waiting for a dry spell and for the contractor to turn up.”

Richard Brown managed to cut some spring barley over the weekend in Berkshire, with yields coming in above average at 6.8-7.4t/ha (2.75-3t/acre).

“We’re well over half way through the spring barley and it’s produced a good sample,” he said. “We haven’t got too many split grains, which has been a problem this year.”

Further north, wheat was still a week away from being ripe at Paul Temple’s farm near Driffield, Yorkshire. “The land is just atrociously wet – it is very soggy underfoot.”

And in Gloucestershire, 10mm of rain last night (17 August) was preventing any combining today at Ian Branstone’s Bourton Hill Farm.

He was waiting to make a start on his winter oats, having finished the rape a week ago.


See our rapidly growing Harvest Highlights gallery of pictures sent in by users.


Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


See the New Farm Crops website.



See more