A more promising forecast for at least the south of the country tomorrow [19 July] is offering some rays of hope for growers frustrated by the showery weather blighting harvest.
Although progress today [18 July] has been more stop than start, growers were remaining positive and attempting to take every opportunity to combine.
John Moss from Howton Farm, Pillaton in Cornwall was one who told FWi’s Harvest Highlights he hoped to go today. He remained optimistic despite the “atrocious weather”, which had prevented him having more than one full days combining since he started last Wednesday [11 July]. “I must get some wheels turning,” he said.
He had managed to cut some oilseed rape, but moistures were proving to be a problem – coming off between 13 and 17%. Yields were around 3.1-3.2t/ha.
Kent grower Robert Shove was also fast becoming impatient with the showery weather. He had managed to cut around 50ha of ES Astrid, Excel and NK Grace oilseed rape at only 9% moisture content following desiccation. But the rest of the crop was just too green at the moment, he said.
Buckinghamshire grower Colin Rayner considered himself fortunate to have cut as much as he had. At another farm he was associated with in Essex combining had stopped entirely. “But as long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, we’ll cut,” he said.
He’d managed to cut 40ha of Pearl doing 7.5t/ha. But nitrogen’s were high at 2.1% and specific weights low (54 kg/hl). Oilseed rape had yielded surprisingly well at 3.1-3.5t/ha, he said, despite weed problems.
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org who will make sure they appear on our dedicated Harvest Highlights 2007 Picture Gallery (www.fwi.co.uk/Community/photos/harvesthighlights)
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 Seeds are pleased to sponsor Harvest Highlights.
For more information on our varieties visit www.ragt.co.uk