Happy at Heath House

Harvest has gone well for both cereals and potatoes at Richard Solari’s Heath House Farm, Beckbury, Shropshire.

“We’ve had a good year for potatoes – through a bit of luck and judgement we’ve ended up with very good packing quality.

“Yields have been mostly okay, too, but that’s down to spending a fortune on irrigating.”

Harvest of maincrop Maris Pipers was 60% complete, he said. “We expect to finish by 15 or 20 October, depending on the weather.

“Financially, it’s been our best year since 1996, with good yields and good prices.”

Cereal harvest was better than expected, given the dry season, added Mr Solari.

“Winter barley yields were our best ever. Oats suffered the most, as did peas, but wheat yields were 10% down, when we had been expecting them to drop by 25%.”

Having finished before the weather broke, cereal quality was good, too. “We haven’t had the extremes of weather that people have had further east.”

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