Harvest Highlights – early start to Wiltshire barley

Winter barley harvest began around a week earlier than usual at the 1011ha (2500acre) Tidcombe Manor, near Marlborough in Wiltshire, arable foreman Gareth Dixon told FWi’s Harvest Highlights today (11 July).

“We started last Saturday [7 July], but it’s normally around the 13-15 July, so it’s nice to have an early start. We’ve done 58ha so far and we’re in the last field today.”

All barley is the six-row variety Sequel, and will go for feed. “We’re reasonably pleased with the bushel weight of about 67kg/hl, but it’s a very dull sample and there are no bold grains at all.” Average moisture content was around 15.5-16%.

No average yields had yet been calculated, but Mr Dixon did not expect the crop to yield as well as normal. There were some problems with secondary tillering, so crops were treated with pre-harvest Roundup (glyphosate) and grain was cleaned to take out small grains, he noted.

When the barley is finished, he said it would be at least another 10 days before the combine could move into the 186ha (460acres) of Castille and Excalibur oilseed rape – which he was just finishing desiccating today.

“It’s all still standing and looking good,” he commented. “The wheat’s also still standing and is pretty green, but we just need some sun on it now.”

Mr Dixon said that despite the recent wet weather and much of the land being a mix of grey, sticky clay and lighter clay cap, the Lexion 480 combine, fitted with a 30ft header was “romping on”.

Crop: Sequel winter barley
Area: 58ha (70ha total)
Yield: unknown
Moisture: 15.5-16%
Quality: 67kg/hl bushel weight, dull sample

For the latest harvest images, check out our harvest 2007 gallery.

Harvest Highlights 2007 is sponsored by RAGT.