Harvest halted by rain in Northern Ireland

Heavy rain in Northern Ireland has brought harvest to a halt this week, with 50-60% of the winter barley now cut in County Down.

“Most people have been getting pretty good yields – 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) has been a common figure, at 14-16% moisture,” said Graham Furey of Killyleagh. The 24ha (60 acres) of his Pearl and Retriever cut so far had averaged 7.7t/ha (3.1t/acre) and 7.2t/ha (2.9t/acre), respectively.

“The Pearl is as good a yield as we’ve had for a few years,” he said. “And there’s a good bulk of straw.”

The 16ha (40 acres) of Castille rape should be ready at the weekend (2 July) but with 30-40mm of rain forecast the combine was unlikely to roll.

“Most wheat is still three weeks away, and our Westminster spring barley looks as though it will be the last to ripen – it’s very uneven with a lot of secondary growth,” said Mr Furey.

Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Pearl and Retriever
Area: 24ha (60 acres)
Yield: 7.2-7.7t/ha (2.9-3.2t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Castille
Area: 16ha (40 acres)

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Einstein, Alchemy and Zebedee
Area: 57ha (140 acres)


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