Combines made good progress this week, with growers snatching winter barley and oilseed rape between the showers and making a start on wheat.
In Somerset, winter barley harvest has gone well for James Francis at Manor Farm, Hemington, who expected to start on oilseed rape this week.
“We had 40ha of Cassia which has done very well, averaging 9.88t/ha over a weighbridge, so I’m happy with it,” he says.
He has 69ha of Charger, Incentive and Compass oilseed rape, with the first looking the best, while his Diego and Crusoe wheat is several weeks away.
In Berkshire, Andrew Randall has made a start on wheat at Hyde Farm, Pineys Green, with 80ha cut so far. Skyfall had averaged 9.51t/ha, with Nelson 9.87t/ha.
“I’m pleasantly surprised with the wheat so far due to the lack of rain. I have been very lucky with the weather and have hardly had to dry any,” he says.
Mr Randall’s oilseed rape is in the barn and says he pleased with Campus but Charger was quite disappointing. Overall, his 121ha averaged 4.02t/ha.
Further east, Peter Fairs has been busy cutting Charger and Holl oilseed rape near Great Tey, Essex. “We have cut 182ha which was neither bad nor good. The varieties were about equal on yield,” he says.
Mr Fairs is part way through his wheat harvest with 283ha of the 809ha now cut, and yields and quality are looking good.
In Cambridgeshire, harvest is running seven to 10 days behind last year, according to John Dawson at Dalmark Grain, Peterborough.
“We have had two to three samples of Cordiale wheat in so far that has yielded well with good bushel weights, but proteins have been a bit low,” he says.
“Oilseed rape has been variable depending on land type, with good land producing high yields but lighter land coming off poorer.”
In Derbyshire, James Chamberlain has finished cutting oilseed rape at Glebe Farm, Shardlow, with yields up to 4.8t/ha on good land and down to 3.9t/ha where pigeons were a nuisance.
“All the crops are looking reasonable but it has been rather overcast and we need some warm weather just to finish things off,” he says.
Up in Scotland, Charlie Stuart is snatching any moment to get winter barley harvested at Merton Estates, Kelso, and has combined 161ha of his 485ha so far, mostly of Volume which has averaged 8t/ha.
“The moisture was over 20% early on but went down to 16% with a breeze and some sun. It has been the same trying to bale the straw,” he says.
His 283ha of oilseed rape should be ready next week, and looks reasonably good and should be done in four to five days.
“I have grown Cracker and Mentor for clubroot resistance over yield this year but will only plant Mentor next year as it’s looking well,” he says.