Good weather aids last of harvest

Combines have been out in force over the past week, salvaging what’s left of harvest across the country.

In Co Antrim, Gerald Erwin was cutting spring barley today (26 September) and was disappointed with yields.

“It’s badly weathered and is averaging 3.7-4.9 (1.5-2t/acre) – we would normally do 5-6t/ha (2-2.5t/acre),” he said.

Ground conditions were almost back to normal, and farmers still had about 10% of harvest to finish off in the area.

Jim Macfarlane finished his wheat at Edintore, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, yesterday, leaving just 14ha (35 acres) of beans to cut.

He reckoned there was still about a third of the wheat to cut in the area. “It’s a shame because the crops were really outstanding before we started and it just turned into a salvage job.”

Further north, in Aberdeenshire, most farmers were finishing up this week, said Jim Cargill, who finished at Coldstream Farm about 10 days ago.

Mr Cargill was delighted with wheat yields of 10t/ha (4t/acre), and having cut his wheat before the worst of the weather, quality had been good, too.

Phil Dowson finished combining at High House Farm, Richmond, Yorks, on Sunday and was now busy ploughing and drilling winter wheat.

He had managed to plant 28ha (70 acres) of winter wheat, but didn’t get any rape in at all. “It’s too late now on our farm so I’ve got some spring rape ordered.”

In Wales, Meurig Raymond hoped to finish harvest this weekend after a good run this week.

He had now finished his wheat, which had averaged over 10t/ha (4t/acre), although some bushelweights were low. “It’s alright, but it’s not what it might have been.”

This weekend should also see harvest finished off in Shropshire, according to Rob Bebbington.

“There’s still a fair bit to be cut but it’s amazing how quickly it can turn round.” He reckoned farmers still had about 15% left to do. “It will soon get mopped up.”


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