Halfway through harvest near Saltash

John Moss has had an incredible start to harvest at Howton Farm, Saltash, Cornwall, with three contracting combines running non-stop since 14 July.

“It’s been extraordinary – we’ve only been rained off for three days at the end of last week,” he said.

Harvest was about two weeks earlier than normal, but all the crops were ripening at once. “We cut oilseed rape before winter barley, and were into wheat at the end of July, which is almost unheard of.”

See also: Firefighters battle combine blaze to save crops.

Oilseed rape had looked well, but yielded disappointingly, at 3-4t/ha, said Mr Moss. “Oil contents were low, at 41-42%, which hasn’t helped either.”

However, most winter barley had performed very well, with good bushel weights and yields of 6.8-9.3t/ha.

“We’ve cut quite a few oats – they haven’t been weighed off the farm but I expect they’ll average 6.8t/ha,” he said.

Winter wheat was less pleasing, having been out-yielded by winter barley in some cases. “Some of it has just given up and died on the light land,” said Mr Moss.

“We haven’t cut the wheat at home yet, but we’re well over halfway through harvest overall.

“Unfortunately grain and straw prices are very poor – and a lot of people are saying they can’t afford to buy straw now, so are having to wait until later in the year.”

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