Harvest Highlights: combines resume in some areas

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Harvest has resumed in some areas today (4 August) after recent rain stopped most growers.

Wiltshire farmer Roger Moore said he was cutting 240ha of Optic spring barley, before the weather could affect it.

“If we get a windy day or a drop of rain, the spring barley starts to brackel.” The crop was yielding 7.5t/ha, and nitrogen levels were “spot on” for malting at 1.65%.

Today will be the first day we will be flat out on both combines,” added Brian Shaw near Luton, Bedfordshire.

He was 40% through harvest, when showers held back progress. Yields of all crops on his farm are down, but he thought this was more to do with the type of land, rather than variety.

Staffordshire farmer John Wilcox had also been held back by the rain and was just resuming spring barley again. “It’s spoiling damp weather. It is too damp to combine but not damp enough to do any good to the ground.”

But David Hinchliffe in Yorkshire was at a complete standstill. “We’ve had an inch of rain and so have done nothing this week.” He was waiting to cut the Cordiale winter wheat having only started 20ha of 300ha.

First wheats were yielding 10t/ha, and the second wheats were coming in just below this.

In contrast harvest had finished for Nottinghamshire farmer Russell Fraser. Having completed cutting just after midnight on July 28, he said: “We’re pleased it all came off so early. It gives us time now to start the vegetables and the potatoes.”

See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.