Frustrated by drizzle near Shardlow

James Chamberlain is desperate to get combining again at Glebe Farm, Shardlow, Derbyshire, but is finding it just too wet today (23 September).

“We finished the bulk of harvest by the end of August, but we had 60ha of spring wheat, drilled in the middle of April, which we haven’t been able to get,” he said.

Having not been ripe in early September, the continual damp weather had prevented much combining once it was mature.

“We cut some yesterday so have probably got 24ha left,” said Mr Chamberlain.

“There’s a surprising amount left to cut around here – there are beans, linseed, spring rape; and then a significant number of wheat fields left – harvest is by no means wrapped up.”

The Zircon spring wheat had yielded well so far – and winter wheat had also done quite well, with Solstice at 8.2t/ha, Gallant at 8.6t/ha and Crusoe close to 9.9t/ha.

“We only drilled about half the winter wheat area intended because it was so wet last year – so we had a large spring barley area, like a lot of people,” he added.

The Waggon, Garner and Odyssey ranged from 5.7t/ha to 7.4t/ha. “Where it was sown in early March, it then didn’t grow for six weeks because it was so cold; but fields sown in early April got away a lot better.”

Oilseed rape was unexciting, yielding 3.2t/ha, said Mr Chamberlain. “We didn’t lose any, but it was a very difficult winter, with a lot of slug, pigeon and swan damage.

“We had 150 swans grazing it, but we persevered with it. Unfortunately, the hot July hit our sand and gravel land hard, so it just senesced prematurely.”

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