Harvest Highlights: Second wheats disappoint

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

FINE WEATHER across much of the UK over the bank holiday weekend allowed many growers to make good progress with wheat harvest.

But reports are showing yields have been very varied, with many growers suggesting second wheats have generally been disappointing this year.

Kent farmer Jonathan Tipples said that while first wheats performed very well this year at up to 10.6t/ha, second wheats were “disappointingly poor” at 5t/ha. He says the average would have been over 1t/ha higher if there had been more rain in June.

Second wheats were also disappointing at 7.5t/ha for Yorkshire farmer Phil Dowson, despite first wheats coming in at a pleasing 10t/ha. He suggested poor drilling conditions last autumn affected the crop.

In the West, Lionel Wells added that his second wheats “didn’t seem to perform” with Savannah and Richmond yielding 7.5t/ha compared to up to 10t/ha with the first wheats. He said the second wheats brought the overall average down compared to last year.

Essex farmer Guy Smith suggested spring drought may have affected his crops, describing second wheats as “not too brilliant” and third wheats as “terrible”.

He said rain had come at the wrong time this year and whishes he had left the last crops to combine until this week. “Sunshine is cheaper for drying than diesel”.

According to the Met Office, tomorrow’s (Aug 31) outlook is for another hot and sunny day for most of the country, with thundery showers overnight.

On Thursday, rain is expected to continue in the far north of Scotland, and fresher, brighter conditions will spread south across the whole of the UK.

By the weekend warm, dry and bright weather will return to most areas, with the exception of localised rain in western Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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


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