Tim Cooper hopes to finish harvest this afternoon (20 August) at Spring Farm, Wix, Essex.
“We’ve been getting on reasonably well – we’ve had a few late nights this week as we wanted to finish before the rain, forecast for the weekend.”
So far he had cut 223ha (550 acres) of Solstice winter wheat. “Yields have been poor because of the drought, which was expected – they are about 15% down.”
The Solstice had averaged 8t/ha (3.2t/acre) and looked a nice sample. “It’s slightly disappointing, but it could be worse.”
Flash oilseed rape yielded well at almost 5t/ha (2t/acre), but Cassata winter barley was very disappointing. “We’ll be lucky to get 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre).
“It was really badly affected by the drought, and was very late – we only finished it a week ago. That is a month later than last year – it just wasn’t ready.”
Most farmers in the area were making good progress through harvest between the showers, he said. “It depends whether they have got driers.”
Crop: Winter wheat
Area: 223ha (550 acres)
Yield: 8t/ha (3.2t/acre)
Crop: Oilseed rape
Area: 80ha (200 acres)
Yield: <5t/ha (2t/acre)
Crop: Winter barley
Area: 40ha (100 acres)
Yield: 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre)