Harvest going well in Somerset

Somerset farmer Tony Higgins said harvest was going very well at Middlegate Farm, Langport, having started cutting winter barley on 5 July. He was “very surprised” his 80ha of Carat was coming off at 13% moisture content. Yields were at an expected 8.75t/ha.

“We had a wet few days but we’re back on it again now and expect to finish winter barley this evening.”

He said the sample looked very good with little pinched grain, and was sold last week at a premium. Quality had been helped by the conditions during the season, he said: “The land can burn up if it is too dry.”

Oilseed rape was growing reasonably well, and Mr Higgins expected the Recital to cut at 3.75t/ha, lower than the “exceptional” 4.4t/ha last year.

Winter wheat on lighter land would be ready in a fortnight. He said the wheats had been suffering from the drought but one and a half inches of rain had pulled them through. He hoped they may reach slightly above average yield, although some patches of Deben were looking “slightly weaker in straw”.

He added: “It was a cold spring, so it looked like it would be a late harvest, but surprisingly it caught up, and we should be starting wheats earlier than expected.”

• Crop: Winter Barley
• Variety: Carat
• Yield: 8.75t/ha
• Area: 80ha
• Quality: 13% moisture

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