Harvest Highlights: mixed reactions to yields

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As wet weather washes out parts of the country, farmers are showing mixed thoughts to crop yields.

Essex grower Peter Fairs said 200ha of oilseed rape did not yield as well as he hoped, while 560ha borage was the worst he had seen in twenty-four years.

“The crops all looked pretty well until the start of July when the dry spell hit us.”

Sioux peas suffered badly in the drought for Gloucestershire farmer Richard Ward, yielding a “disappointing” 2.5t/ha.

Oilseed rape was “exceptionally dry” at 4.2–6.4% moisture, yielding 3.75t/ha. “I wonder what it would have yielded if the moisture was at 9%.”

He added: “It is extraordinary. We haven’t usually started cutting wheat until 10 August, but here we are 31 July with only 52ha to do.”

Meurig Raymond was disappointed with 80ha of oilseed rape in Haverfordwest, Wales, which yielded 3.75t/ha. “The crops looked great but then they didn’t yield to potential.”

Kent grower Bill Harbour saw mixed results on his own farm, with Castille oilseed rape yielding 4.8t/ha, but Winner was closer to 2.5t/ha. Despite the variable yields, he said all his crops were ripening together in an ‘easy’ harvest.

However, Nick Harding said harvest had been a total washout in Dorset, with hit and miss showers today (31 July).

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