Harvest Highlights: progress in Northern Ireland, but rain elsewhere

Harvest continued to be delayed by wet weather in most parts of the UK today (21 August), although some regions seem to be faring much better than others.

In Northern Ireland Graham Furey made a start on his spring barley today and hoped it would yield as well as it looked. “I think this is the first spring barley to be cut around here and the forecast is pretty good for the rest of the week,” he said.

But in Kent Bill Harbour recorded 50mm (two inches) of rain this morning, threatening his swathed echium and borage crops. Like many farmers in the east, he had finished his wheat earlier than normal, with his Xi19 and Solstice averaging 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre).

In Hertfordshire Alistair Pinkerton painted a different picture, with a third of his combining still to do. “We would normally be finished by now. The wheat is all standing up, but the oats are very flat which will make them difficult to combine. We won’t be on for a day or so as the wheat was 26% yesterday and it’s been raining heavily today.”

Similar conditions meant the combine had hardly been in use over the past week at Will Hemus’s farm in Warwickshire. “Our good run ended last Monday although we cut the last 8ha (20 acres) of Malacca at 24% moisture on Friday,” said Mr Hemus. “We thought that if it had any more rain on it the Hagbergs would be destroyed.”

With the ground waterlogged Mr Hemus also still had 1.2ha (3 acres) of oilseed rape to cut. “The ground is still too wet to travel on.”

In Angus, Robert Ramsey near Arbroath, had to wait for the spring barley and winter wheat to ripen before getting the combine out again. “It hasn’t been dry anyway, but I hope to be back on combining this week,” he said.

To read any of these reports in full, or see more from around the UK, visit FWi’s Harvest Highlights 2007.

* If you’ve got a harvest story then call us on 020 8652 4082. You can also get involved on the new FWiSpace forums where you can chat directly with other farmers and share the high and lows of what is shaping up to be a challenging summer.

You can also share your harvest pictures by sending them to us, to make sure they appear on our dedicated Harvest Highlights 2007 Picture Gallery.

If you prefer, we can set you up with your own gallery where you can upload pictures at any time to share them with other farmers.

We are hoping to print a selection of the best harvest pictures submitted each week in Farmers Weekly magazine. Please be aware that for use in the magazine we will need pictures to be taken using the highest quality setting on your camera.

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For more information on our varieties visit www.ragt.co.uk

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