Harvest Highlights: rain halts progress…again

Limited harvest progress has been made today, after yet more rain brought a halt to activity in many regions.

In Berkshire, Ennis McEwan said he got rained-off at lunchtime, having been able to cut only a small area of his Castille oilseed rape. Yields so far had averaged 3.7t/ha and he hoped to get the remaining 20ha done by the weekend.

“We’ll wait and see and keep our fingers crossed,” he said.

Farmers Weekly’s Scottish Barometer John Hutcheson began harvest on Tuesday – the same date as last year – and he had cleared 21.7ha of Sequel winter barley by last night.

“The adjusted yield looks like being a very pleasing 9.2t/ha with a specific weight of 64kg/hl before going through the drier – which is good for a six-row.”

Peter Bawn in Dorset attempted to get on with his remaining oilseed rape this morning, but was stopped by more rain. Despite high moisture contents, he kept going until 1am last night in an effort to get crops in.

“It’s too late to worry about moisture, we’ve just got to get on with it. There’s a long way to go, but we’ll get it in,” he added.

Although progress was very stop-start, Carl Juhl, who farms near Saffron Walden in Essex, was reasonably satisfied with his oilseed rape. About 30% of his Castille and Astrid had been cut so far and yields had been around 3.5t/ha (28cwt/acre).

“We’ve had a lot of rain and the forecast doesn’t look very good either…but when the sun shines, we’ll harvest.”

But the wet weather was starting to get too much for Norfolk farmer Ed Lankfer, who had managed to cut just 19ha of Carat winter barley over the past week.

“We’re just getting depressed. We want to get on, but it’s a nightmare. Hopefully a better spell of weather will come.”

Lincolnshire grower Mark Fixter had been unable to start combining and had fitted a set of dual wheels to his combine in an effort to overcome saturated soils. “If that doesn’t work, then we’re stuck,” he said.

He was eager to get his Apex and Castille oilseed rape in, as crops were shedding seed, he noted.

* 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.

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