Harvest Highlights: Slow start for winter wheat

As growers in parts of southern and eastern England moved from oilseed rape and barley into the first wheat crops, many today (2 August) hoped for more fine weather to ripen crops.

Kent farmer John Beslee of Southfleet had cut 65ha of Solstice and planned to finish the last 16ha today. It was low milling quality and he expected yields of 7.4 t/ha.

“We’ve been fortunate with the weather where we are,” he said.

Anthony Hogsbjerg also intended to harvest winter wheat today. When he spoke to FWi this morning, he hoped to make a start on 240ha of Gladiator, Glasgow and Ambrosia by the afternoon.

He was pleased with progress and said “I just combine when it’s ready.”

However he was concerned about dry conditions affecting his sugar beet, and said, “We’ve been fortunate not to have too much rain, but it might not be long until we have too little”

David Hues of Galteemore Farm, Beckhampton also hoped to begin his 405ha (1000 acres) of Alchemy winter wheat. “It’s nearly there, it’s turning very quickly and the forecast looks promising over the weekend.”

But rain had put a halt to progress for Ian Sparey at Tryfan Barn, Clifton on Teme, Worcester. He hoped for fine weather over the weekend and intended to begin his 49ha of Einstein winter wheat within the next week.

“It’s had enough wet weather and needs a little sun to even it up,” he commented.

Gerald Godfrey of Great Common Farm, Beckles, Suffolk was also waiting for more sunshine before he could start combining wheat. “Fingers crossed,” he said.

He intended to start cutting 81ha of Gladiator and Claire winter wheat in a week’s time, once ripe. “It’s getting there” he said.

Further north, Yorkshire grower Hugh Farren was pleased to have finished his Winner oilseed rape at Markensieod Hall, Ripon.

He had 110ha of Robigus and Einstein winter wheat to harvest and he hoped to begin cutting within 10-14 days. “The straw’s greener than the grains,” he said.

* 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.

RAGT logo

RAGT Seeds are pleased to sponsor Harvest Highlights.

Robust wheats from the PBIC brand are brought to you by RAGT Seeds, offering you the security of consistent performance, a critical factor in maximising output in an increasingly uncertain farming environment.
Robust wheats: Varieties that can be relied on to produce high yields of consistently high quality grain, year-in, year-out.

For more information on our varieties visit www.ragt.co.uk