Driving on in Cambridgeshire

Harvest is in full swing in Cambridgeshire, despite frustrating showers, according to Philip Darke, store manager at Camgrain.

“We haven’t lost too many days due to wet weather; people were cutting at 20% moisture on Sunday and are on at 18% today (9 August).

“We’ll probably take in 10,000-15,000t today and will be flat out over the next few days, with rain forecast on Wednesday or Thursday.”

So far the store had taken in 150,000t of wheat, with yields varying from 5.5t to 10t/ha (2.2-4t/acre), depending on soil type and rainfall.

“In East Anglia farmers will be very happy if they can average 8t/ha (3.2t/acre).”

Quality was good, with very heavy bushelweights, but variable protein contents, said Mr Darke.

“Hagbergs are surprisingly low on Group Four varieties, down to 100, so that’s something to watch.”

Spring barley harvest was very protracted due to the amount of secondary growth in the crops, and yields were as bad as expected.

“If you’re doing over 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) it’s about as expected – irrigated crops have done better, though.”

Nitrogen contents on both winter and spring barley were high, he added. “There’s a lot between 1.9% and 2.1% – too much really.”

But oilseed rape had performed well, with many crops averaging 4-5t/ha (1.6-2t/acre)

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