Harvest Highlights: Crops suffer in rain

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

As harvest concludes for many around the country, reports show yields are average or above. However, while many growers were pleased with pre-rain quality, crops cut during later August suffered.

Lincolnshire farmer Adrian Howell said harvest was “complete at last” with yields above the farm long-term average at 10.5t/ha (4.2t/acre). Some varieties performed particularly well at 11-11.5t/ha (4.4-4.6t/acre), and quality before the rain had been very good with bushel weights of 78-82kg/hl. But after the rain, bushel weights fell to 72kg/hl.

Mark Woodroff on the Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire border said harvest had gone well because they were finished before the rain. While larger farmers in his area still had 10% of crops remaining a week ago, he had finished on August 7. Yields had been good this year and he was pleased bushel weights of Cordiale were at 82kg/hl.

But the wet weather had affected straw baling. “It has not been dry enough to get it in yet.”

Quality suffered due to the rain for Phil Dowson in North Yorkshire. Yields were slightly up on last year and specific weights remained in the mid to high 70skg/hl, but Hagbergs fell.

 “It is all biscuit wheat. The quality was shot down so it was no good after the rain.”

But yields were down 20% on the farm average for Hertfordshire farmer Paul Christian having suffered due to the summer drought. Protein levels were lower than they should have been but bushel weights were fine.

“The worst, wettest part of the farm, which we usually wonder why we grow crops on, actually did best this year. It highlights more moisture was needed.”

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

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