Harvest 2004: Big, bold barley?

COMBINES ARE tentatively creeping back into some barley crops following the beating they‘ve taken from this week‘s devastating autumnal weather.

While some growers are assessing the damage, others have reported that early barley samples are looking rather good.

“We‘ve got some big, bold berries,” Oxfordshire grower Nick Cobbold told FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Highlights on Friday (July 9).

“Judging by the way it looks and the way it loads into the lorries I think we‘ll get a good specific weight.”

In Somerset, Ivan Hunt is “the talk of the town” with his early-harvested Siberia.

Coming in at around 18%, he has also noticed the sample looks bold, and is even more impressed with a trial field of Pict.

“Yield is similar (7.5t/ha – 3t/acre), but the sample looks better than the Siberia.”

Oilseed rape swathing contractor John Bennett believes growers are looking at a mixed bag of crop performance this year.

“But this rain and wind will have tossed it around considerably,” he warns.

Beans appear to have borne the brunt of the storms, according to Harvest Highlight reports.

“They had already gone flat,” says Mr Cobbold of his Clipper winter beans. “Now they‘re practically underground.”

Cool, showery conditions are set to persist over the weekend, according to FWi Weather Services.

Spells of sunshine will be mixed with scattered showers, some of them heavy and thundery.