Harvest Highlights – Barley to be by-passed when it dries out on Gloucs / Warks border

Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writer Richard Ward was on his way to pick up a set of wide combine wheels today [23 July] after 137mm of rain fell on his farm on the Gloucestershire / Warwickshire / Oxfordshire border near Moreton-in-the-Marsh last Friday [20 July].

“We’ve now had our usual annual rainfall for a year now,” he said.

Torrential rain had fallen most of the day on Friday, although no crops were still under water. “Most of it has now drained way.”

He still hadn’t actually made a start on harvest, he said. “I could have done some barley last Thursday but didn’t want to leave any straw on the field, and there was no baler available.”

Barley might be by-passed for the time being, he suggested. “It will dry quicker than the barley, and I can chop the straw so I don’t have to worry about the baler. I just hope it is fit enough – the lower pods were a bit green last week.

“But that’s the plan at the moment – although I am fed up of making plans.”

Most crops had come through the wet surprisingly well, he added. “I’m stunned by how the wheat has stood up. Only some of the beans and oats look like they have taken a battering.”

It was all a bit different from last year, when he finished harvest completely by 3 August. “This year we might not have even started by then.”


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