Harvest 2004: Rain stops play

 CONTINUING WET weather has stopped harvest again across the country.

Areas in the north have been worst affected with farmers saying they won‘t be able to get going for the rest of the week.

David Hinchcliffe hasn‘t “turned a wheel since the weekend because it‘s been so wet”, on his farm near Thorne, Yorkshire.

Wet weather is causing problems with machinery not being able to get into the field.

“You can hear the ground squelch under foot. If I put a combine in the field it‘ll sink,” said Mr Hinchcliffe.

And further south, Tom Coleman said his harvest is turning into a “real slog” after nearly two weeks of continuous rain near Winchester, Hampshire.

Meanwhile more reports are coming in about the damage caused by storms last week (w/e Aug 20).

“Hail the size of golf balls” in Leicestershire devastated crops on Chris Tolley‘s farm and caused structural damage to several buildings in the local village.

He predicts 1 t/ha (2.5 t/acre) of grain is on the floor as the wheat was thrashed and his sugar beet was also heavily lacerated.

The 75% of wheat which has not yet been harvested “will now be a salvage job”, and losses will run into several thousands of pounds.

On the other hand, in Oxfordshire, Jonathan Edwards finished harvest on Tuesday (Aug 24) with good results.

Charles Carter, farm manager for the Streeters, says the harvest has been going well on his part of the Essex/Hertfordshire border. He‘s finished three quarters of the 400ha (1,000 acre) wheat crop with success.

Bob West farms with his brother and father in Crowhurst, East Sussex and has seen variable results with oilseed rape and wheat doing well but peas have been disappointing.

According to FWi weather services most of the UK will be dry with bright spells tomorrow, with chances of showers on the east coast and Scotland in the morning.

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