Harvest Highlights: rain continues to frustrate Scottish growers

While more growers in England completed harvest, further rain in north Scotland today (30 August) meant harvest was well behind normal.

In Morayshire Ian Green was still waiting to make a start on his wheat and spring barley.

He cut a few acres of Maresi spring barley yesterday (August 29) but at 24.6% moisture did not get very far. Dual tyres on the combine meant it was ready to travel on the wet ground, to cut the remaining 365ha (905 acres) of cereals. “Everything is ready but we just can’t get the weather to get going.”

Alan Macauley of merchant Frontier reckoned farmers were about 20% through winter wheat harvest in Scotland overall, with yields about 10% down so far.

“Harvest is about two weeks behind last year and a week behind average, so although it looks as if we’re in for a settled spell it will be mid-September before it’s tied up,” he said.

Further south, Ian Elsworth had finally finished his winter wheat in Yorkshire, 20 days later than expected. “The first wheats wouldn’t have made over 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) which is disappointing for us,” he said.

In the West Midlands, harvest was about 95% complete, according to Shropshire Grain’s Julian Walker. Yields were slightly below average, and quality was unusually variable this year. “But the majority of milling varieties will make milling grade of some sort or another.”

Despite lower yields, Charlie Edgley was reasonably pleased with his wheat in Buckinghamshire. “We had 688ha (1700 acres) of continuous wheat to cut in total – we’re now down to the last 80ha (200 acres), which is a bit later than last year,” he said.

All the milling wheat cut before the rain was full spec, but nothing had been tested since.

Tom Coleman was also pleasantly surprised by yields, which were 5% below budget at his farm in Hampshire. “Overall I’ve been pretty pleased with how everything has done – considering how it looked in May I’m amazed,” 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 this year’s 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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