Frustration builds as rain keeps combines out of ripe crops

Heavy rain continues to frustrate farmers desperate to get their crops in before quality starts to fall.


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In Lincolnshire, Mark Ireland got rained off twice yesterday (13 August), although he had managed to cut 70% of his spring barley so far.

“I’ve never known it as frustrating,” he said. “We had our first full day’s harvesting on Monday (11 August) for 10 days – we just can’t get two dry days together.”

James Chamberlain was cutting his winter wheat at 22% moisture between the showers in Derbyshire, in an attempt to secure the milling quality. “It’s all standing and it’s all bright, but it wants cutting now,” he said.

In Gloucestershire, heavy showers were preventing Tim Morris from combining his wheat and spring barley.

“Virtually everything is ripe now – when the sunshine arrives we won’t know which way to turn,” he said. “We’ve had to double dry a lot of wheat and some of the rape, which has been fearfully expensive.”

Showers were also preventing Robert Shove from combining wheat in Kent today (14 August).

He had cut 30ha (74 acres) of Solstice winter wheat so far, at about 17% moisture. “It’s doing in excess of 10t/ha (4t/acre).”

Two days of heavy rain had also brought Andrew Crow’s combine to a halt in Shropshire.  “We’ve still got silage to cut and hay to make – it’s all building up now,” he said.

“Everything looks good – it’s whether we’ll be able to get it in.”



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See the New Farm Crops website and the picture gallery.



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