Harvest Highlights: Spring crops show drought signs in stop-start week

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As rain showers sweep the country growers are concerned for the outcome of their spring crops.

Yorkshire farmer Derek Lamplough started cutting spring barley at 7pm last night (August 8), but was rained off by 8pm. “Moisture was below 15% so it would have been nice to have got some more off.”

Sixty hectares of Cocktail yielded “pretty poorly” and he said the crop was “very short”. “It is not a good year for spring barley”.

Michael Manners in Durham was very frustrated that the rain was putting a hold to his harvest. “It’s been so stop-start in the rain that we never get a good run. But everything has stood up well so at least it’s easy to cut when we do.”

He was pleased with 80ha winter wheat yielding above average with Gladiator at 11.25t/ha and Napier at 10t/ha.

We would have started cutting wheat yesterday if it had been dry,” said Shropshire farmer Duncan Whiteman. He said the crop was now ripe, and first wheat Robigus was looking particularly well.

He added: “We’re very stop-start here with the weather.”

Spring barley was very variable for Mark Ireland in Lincolnshire. Nitrogen levels of 410ha Optic varied from 1.85% on one field to 1.55% on another “for no particular reason at all”. Despite Tipple yielding reasonably well, he said screenings looked high.

“We may have to pick and choose what goes in the malting bag.”

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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