Harvest Highlights: Sprouting concerns continue

Send us you views on harvest progress/ prospects: karen.willmer@rbi.co.uk

As showery weather continues to affect much of the country, there are further concerns for wheat sprouting, particularly in the east.

Norfolk grower Nick Pratt said harvest was “a mighty struggle at the moment” having had 146mm (6in) of rain in August. “We have only managed to combine on five different days in the whole month.”

Remaining wheat had begun to sprout, with Nijinksy suffering most. He was going to dress up some of his own seed for next season but said he now would not be using Robigus or Access at all.

Keith Snowball in Yorkshire was trying to catch some combining between showers. “There’s probably less than 20% still to cut but this is an abnormal time for the ripeness of what is left.”

Grain merchants told him quality was variable in the area, with some suffering from low Hagbergs. Many neighbours were also behind on combining oilseed rape as they were trying to get all the wheat harvested.

Lincolnshire grower Mark Ireland has finished harvest on his own farm but said quality had deteriorated badly on remaining crops in the area with 15% wheat still to be cut around the Lincolnshire coast.

“They’re always behind on the coast, but since the crops are all ripe they would prefer it to be in by now.”

He had heard sprouting was a problem in the area because harvest was so stop-start. “When I was in Norfolk last week certainly the vast majority of crops were leaning quite badly – they are overly fit.”

Farmers in Scotland were generally pleased with harvest progress but it continues to be a stop-start harvest for many.

But while combining has also been disrupted in Scotland, many were generally pleased with progress so far.

Showers were causing a stop-start harvest for Doug Fowlie from Peterhead, meaning straw was difficult to bale. “There’s always a shower of rain on top of the straw.”

But spring barley yields and quality were good and Robigus winter wheat was looking well. He expected to start combining wheat tomorrow (Aug 30).

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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