Combines struggle in wet conditions

Heavy rain on top of already saturated land had made travelling conditions impossible in parts of the country, and crops are really suffering.

Wheat was starting to rot in the ear at David Price’s farm at Presteigne, Powys, and he was only half way through the combining.

“It is a disaster – I’m fed up to the back teeth,” he said. “It is starting to sprout – another week and it will not be worth combining.”

Gerald Erwin was also about half way through his wheat in Co Antrim, and was combining at 25-30% moisture, despite spraying it off.

“We just cannot get it dry. A lot of farmers are now putting it into the silo as wholecrop to feed the cattle.”

In Somerset, harvest was about 80% complete, said Archie Montgomery, who was rained off last night, leaving just 1.2ha (3 acres) of wheat to finish off at his Manor Farm.

“The land is just saturated. Anything we are doing on our soils now is impacting on next year’s yields.”

Farmers still had 25-30% of wheat to cut in Nottinghamshire, according to Retford-based Russell Fraser.

“Some of the wheat is starting to sprout in the ear – it’s not going to be long before it’s a write-off.”

Neil Thomson and his combine-sharing group were less than half way through harvest near Kelso, Scottish Borders, and were now suffering from flooding.

“We had 120mm of rain from Friday night to Sunday night (5-7 September) and it’s washed away a lot of the road.”

The group still had 485ha (1200 acres) of wheat and spring barley to combine, and crops were sprouting in the field, he said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


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See the New Farm Crops website.



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