Farmers Weekly’s Karen Willmer is back this summer to bring you FWi’s exclusive Harvest Highlights package.
Daily reports will be available on FWi giving harvest progress in your local area and the rest of the United Kingdom.
Karen has already been hot on the phone to grain merchants across the south and east today.
“We’ve heard reports of one or two fields cut already,” she told FWi. “But the wet weather has put a hold on things for now. Most cutting is generally expected to begin by the end of the week.”
Crops in Hampshire have been suffering from very heavy rain over the past few days, according to Jonathan Arnold of Robin Appel Ltd. “We are expecting a few split grain issues from this wet weather and very dry, intense heat.”
Mr Arnold is expecting a “very mixed bag” for spring barley since a number of crops were lost early on due to the dry weather.
In contrast, he said the winter barley was looking “very promising” despite having “not received the best press over the last few years”.
Malting varieties Flagon, Pearl, Maris Otter and Fanfare all look very well with no difference between them and no real lodging problems, he said, adding that barley cutting should begin by the end of the week.
Hampshire Grain’s Mike Clay would be surprised to see much crop cut this week. He reported seeing some good and bad crops, caused by the mixture of hot and wet weather, but it was “too early to tell much” over whether it has affected crops.
“We are hoping not to see anything until at least next week”.
Nick Matthews of Bartholemews, Chichester, confirmed it had been too wet and cloudy for harvest to have got underway.
He expects oilseed rape and oats to be ready within the next two weeks.
“Winter barley is not much of a feature anymore, but maybe in the next week or so, it should be ready.”