Giving up at Pantycoch

Harvest is proving a dismal affair in Haverfordwest, with poor yields, sticky conditions and non-stop rain.

“We had 1.5 inches of rain yesterday (26 August),” said Geoff Thomas from Pantycoch Farm, Letterston.

“It’s getting a bit wearing now to be truthful – I’m fed up and don’t want to be a farmer any more. It’s just appalling.”

Oilseed rape had struggled to yield 3t/ha. “It just hadn’t filled properly – you can’t farm without sun. It looked fantastic before we started combining it.

“My son had to walk around the combine three times to make sure we weren’t losing seed over the back. But the price is helping, of course.”

Early winter barley was dreadful, but the later crops were far better, producing an overall average of 6.2t/ha, said Mr Thomas.

“The Propino spring barley should be ready at the end of this week – it seemed to hang on an awfully long time. The heads were ripe but the straw was green for a very long time.

“I’m a bit concerned whether it will malt – it’s looking a bit weathered, and yesterday didn’t help,” he added.

“We won’t be able to travel much before the end of the week – we’re on really light land, and can normally travel any time, but it’s a right mess at the moment.

“Harvest has just been a drag from beginning to end.”

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Suzuka
Yield: 6.2t/ha

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: D06
Yield: 3t/ha

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