Harvest Highlights: Combining continues, so does drought

Send us you views on harvest progress/ prospects: Karen.willmer@rbi.co.uk

As combines continue to roll across the country, mostly through winter barley, there are continuing concerns over the dry weather burning wheats off too quickly.

Lincolnshire farmer Robert Naylor was busy harvesting in sunny weather today, with Carat winter barley yielding the same as last year. However, this hot weather meant his oilseed rape and winter wheats were looking “stressed”.

But he added: “It has all gone very well considering we’ve had no rain in a month.”

Carat winter barley yielded a “respectable” 8.75t/ha for Tony Higgins in Somerset with few pinched grain and at 13% moisture. But the dry weather meant his expectations for oilseed rape yields were lower than last year’s 4.4t/ha, although he hoped winter wheat could yield slightly above average.

Winter barley harvest started yesterday for Andrew Middlewood in Yorkshire. He was concerned the Pearl may not meet malting quality because of a lack of rain on the light, sandy soil. Despite harvest being a week ahead of last year, he said the drought has meant it will not be as good this year.

Cambridgeshire farmer John Goodchild was also concerned for some winter wheats on lighter land having been “toasted” in 30 degree heat. “The crops are speed ripening in this heat”. However, he thought crops had a “much greater potential” this season because it was even drier during the growing season last year.

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

See more