Harvest Highlights: progress in the south as rain holds off

Combines have begun to roll in the south of the country again as the weather improved today [24 July].

But other areas were still affected by the aftermath of the last week’s torrential downpours.

David Hues of Gaulteemore Farm, Beckhampton in Wiltshire was one of those who had made a start this afternoon. Castille oilseed rape was being cut at 22% moisture, but like everyone else he wanted better weather. “We’re in for a difficult summer, he said.

Paul Carter of Sherbourne Castle Estate in Dorset was also into oilseed rape – again at a moisture content of 20%. Yield of his ES Astrid was 3.6t/ha, he estimated.

But Frank Dakin in Shropshire reported problems with getting combines stuck. “It’s dreadful; it’s the worst harvest in living memory.”

In Lincolnshire Chris Hewis had swathed Excalibur oilseed rape lying in water. The 7ha he had managed to combine between thunderstorms in the past week had yielded around 3.75t/ha, he said. “It’s frustrating, slow and late.”

And hail the size of marbles had taken its toll on oilseed rape yields for Dorset grower Tim Harris. Eight hectares of Bambin cut by last weekend had yielded a “disappointing” 2.5t/ha. “Normally we’d get at least 4.4t/ha.”

Herefordshire grower Philip Gorringe, who grows cereals and grass for seed production suggested seed supplies for next season’s seed availability could be badly hit. He had around 120ha of pre-basic seed varieties in the ground, some of which was lodged. “I haven’t seen any chitting in the ear yet, but I suspect it is only a matter of time.”

* If you’ve got a harvest story then call our dedicated harvest reporter David Kemp on 020 8652 4073. 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 david.kemp@rbi.co.uk who will 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.

RAGT logo

RAGT Seeds are pleased to sponsor Harvest Highlights.

Robust wheats from the PBIC brand are brought to you by RAGT Seeds, offering you the security of consistent performance, a critical factor in maximising output in an increasingly uncertain farming environment.
Robust wheats: Varieties that can be relied on to produce high yields of consistently high quality grain, year-in, year-out.

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