Harvest 2004: frustration grows

BAD weather continues to delay harvest as farmers are becoming increasingly frustrated and concerned.

As well as the rain hampering the combine‘s progress, it is also causing Hagbergs to drop, meaning a lot of milling wheat will not make specification and will have to be sold as feed.

Chris Stevenson from Grainfarmers in Lincs told FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Highlights things are not looking promising. “Now there‘s little chance of any quality coming off the field.”

Two weekends ago (7 Aug) Hagbergs were at 300, then last weekend dropped to 200 and now his latest sample had Hagbergs at 150.

Much of the milling wheat will have to be sold for feed, although Mr Stevenson predicts millers will lower their specifications to account for the shortage of quality samples.

Chris Cockayne described this year as “terrible” from his farm near Cropwell Butler in Nottinghamshire. “We are just getting delayed and delayed all the time. It‘s so bad I don‘t know what to do.”

“We‘ve got all this technology to help us harvest, but if mother nature is against you, you cannot do anything.”

Will Hemus didn‘t have a single day without precipitation in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, last week. In total 65mm of rain fell, preventing him from cutting anything during the week up to Saturday.

“We are just snatching at it. We haven‘t had a full day‘s harvest for 10 days now.”

Tim Lock has harvested 65ha (160 acres) of wheat on his farm near Arundel, West Sussex with promising results.

“Yields have been good, but the main concern now is getting the rest of the crop into the barn in reasonable condition.”

According to FWi weather services, on Thursday the north of England, Scotland and Wales will be cloudy with heavy showers. While the south will have sunny spells with chances of thunderstorms in the afternoon.


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