Harvest Highlights: Rain threatens

Send us your views on harvest progress/prospects: Karen.Willmer@rbi.co.uk


With rain forecast for this weekend (Aug 13) farmers across the country have been keen to make the most of fine weather.


Many reports indicate oilseed rape has yielded well, whereas wheat has proved more variable.


In the north, Yorkshire farmer Phil Dowson said progress is slow at the moment. His Royal oilseed rape yielded 4.4t/ha which was lower than last year’s 5t/ha, although he was fairly pleased considering the conditions this season. Showers were causing slowing for him.


East Sussex farmer James Fuggle said this year was above average. Hereward wheat was yielding ok at 8t/ha, and was of very good quality. Soissons yields were up on last year.


Castille oilseed rape yielded very well, but Canberra was lower than last year and was a bit “weather beaten”, he said.


Mr Fuggle also noticed barley yields were very varied and had high nitrogen levels.


In the West, Solstice wheat yields varied for Ian Branstone in Gloucestershire, with 7.5t/ha on mediocre fields to 10t/ha on the good fields. He was pleased with how things had gone, with yields slightly up on last year. He added: “It’s a shame [the crop] is not worth anything.”


Essex farmer Tim Cooper is 120ha through his Malacca, with yields of 7.5t/ha. This is down on last year’s 9.4t/ha due to a severe drought in the area.


By comparison, Expert oilseed rape was very good, yielding 4.75t/ha. He said: “It’s the best we’ve had in years.”


To find out what the weather’s going to do in your area this weekend, visit FWi Weather.


See FWi’s new Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.

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