Harvest 2004: Last few bits

ACROSS THE country, the final areas of wheat are being cleared as growers, eager to get winter sown crops into the ground, make the most of the fine weather.

Yields around the country have proved pleasing, but only a handful of farmers are reporting any quality of note in wheat and barley crops.

Most farmers continued to make steady progress with drilling next year‘s oilseed rape crop, but some in Northumberland and the Scottish borders are having problems freeing up land to drill as there is still wheat on the fields.

“If you told me I would finish by Sunday a fortnight ago I would have laughed in your face, but it‘s been incredible how quickly it all came off,” said Ian Jackson near Berwick, Northumberland.

Because much of oilseed rape in the area failed, some farmers are having cash flow problems, asking to pay later for any contract work Mr Jackson does for them

If the predicted rain comes this weekend (Sept 11/12) then Mr Jackson believes it‘ll be the cut off point for drilling oilseed rape.

He is worried that if farmers do not get their fields clear of the remaining wheat, there could be problems.

“Harvest should be a pleasure after a years hard work but this year it‘s been totally soul destroying,” said Northumberland farmer Glen Sanderson.

Harvest in Cambridgeshire is 95% finished, with only the largest farmers still having little bits to do, according to Andrew Hoyle from Grainfarmers.

“It‘s been ok up here compared to the rest of the country,” said Nick Davidson near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

Paul Philips finished his harvest on Monday (Sept 6) after a 10 day spell of good weather.

He was very pleased that his wheat yielded 2.85t/acre on his farm near Newton, Wales.

According to FWi weather services the majority of the UK will be fine and dry tomorrow (Sept 9) but there will be chances of showers in south-west England and Wales in the afternoon.

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