Harvest Highlights: Crops needed more rain

Send us your views on harvest progress/prospects: Karen.Willmer@rbi.co.uk

Farmers across the country are generally concerned by the lack of rain during ear fill. Recent extreme heat has meant yields have been potentially lost, especially on lighter soils.

Somerset farmer Richard Payne said harvest would not be as good as last year since the rain came too late. The hot, dry conditions left his winter barley with shorter straw and lower yields.

Roger Moore in Wiltshire echoed that view saying the rain did not come soon enough for some of his winter barley. “Winter barley has suffered more than spring barley, with some looking green in the tramlines.”

In the East, Alistair Pinkerton’s crops were looking “very dry and hungry”. He was concern for his oilseed rape and winter wheat.

Stephen Ellerbeck in Cambridge said crops had gone off having had no rain for six to eight weeks. His greatest concern was for crops on lighter land. He added: “It’s a shame because in May and June the crops looked fantastic.”

Crops on lighter soil were also suffering for Tim Horton in Gloucestershire, however he hoped for better results on heavier land.

Camgrain’s Philip Darke told FWi yesterday: “There are concerns for spring barley from the heat, but crops are still looking big and bold in the fields. It depends where people are – some have had chunks of rain, others haven’t, so will be worse off.”

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