Harvest 2004: Northern conquest

THE FIRST barley has been harvested in Yorkshire, and, according to one grower, the quality is good.

Elsewhere there are few surprises at variable early malting samples, and growers are none too impressed with the oilseed rape crop.

“It‘s unbelievable,” Paul Cooper in East Yorks told FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Highlights on Wednesday (July 21) after measuring the specific weight of his Siberia.

He was particularly happy with the 68-71kg/hl bushel weight, although a yield of 7.56 t/ha (3.06 t/acre) is “not breaking any records”.

Nick Brown from Wiltshire Grain has been “busy” taking in mostly Pearl barley, but he has concerns for malting quality.

“Nitrogen levels are going up and down like a yo-yo,” he said.

Wilts grower Roger Moore has made a start on some “rather disappointing” oilseed rape after finishing his Maris Otter barley.

“Although it‘s lower yielding than the two-row feed varieties, the premium I receive definitely makes up for it.” 

But John Jones, west area manager for Allied Grain Fishers is not impressed with the barley he has seen.

“Everything we‘ve received so far is very average – there‘s nothing outstanding.”

Winner oilseed rape has not done so well for Oxon‘s Phil Kinch, yielding 3.5t/ha (1.42t/acre) at 10.5% moisture.

“It‘s disappointing, but we can‘t grumble too much,” he said.

And the dry autumn means results from Pat Burke‘s crop of Canberra rape in Kent are “not fantastic“.

“In September and October the crop looked very pathetic, but it‘s now looking a lot better.”

Most of the UK should get scattered showers and sunny intervals on Thurs (July 22), according to the Met Office, with conditions warm in the south east and cooler in the north.