Harvest Highlights: Farmers struggling through the rain

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

As unsettled weather continues to frustrate growers with crops still to combine, there is mounting concern about the effect on quality, according to reports today (23 August)

Yorkshire farmer Caley Sackur was concerned a four-day break from combining due to showers meant quality had deteriorated. Malacca had been doing well with Hagbergs of 400 and bushel weights of 79kg/hl, but he said this was now gradually deteriorating in the weather.

With forecasts predicting similar weather over the next few days he said quality would now be poorer. “The first half of harvest was as good as last year but now it will not be as good.”

Robert Ramsey in Scotland said harvest had slowed down and it was a bit too wet to get the last half of spring barley cut. Yields were very varied but this was due to how the crops went in, he said.

He was also trying to drill Ontario oilseed rape but the ground was too wet. “We were ahead of things but now we have slowed back to normal time.”

Philip Gorringe in Herefordshire stopped at midnight last night when a third of an inch of rain fell.

He has 44ha (110ac) of winter wheat left to cut and said bushel weights were not as high as expected, and had been surprisingly low since it had rained.

But the crop was still standing, so he was not yet desperately concerned by the rain.

However Lincolnshire grower Edward Whitfield was pleased to have combined all his wheat before the wet weather. Quality had been good and yields were 10-12.5t/ha (4-5t/ac) with bushel weights of 78-86kg/hl.

He was very pleased with how things had gone: “It’s the best harvest we’ve ever had.”

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