Harvest Highlights: Waiting game

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

RAIN CONTINUES to hold up harvest across much of the UK, with many growers keen to avoid drying expense due to high diesel prices.

Many farmers in Gloucestershire had sprayed their crops early, meaning they were able to be cut before the rain, according to Tim Morris. His late spraying meant harvest had been stopped by rain for seven days and had cut very little.

A general epidemic of hedge mustard (Sisymbrium Officinale) in the area had also reduced yields for Mr Morris.

Caley Sackur in Northumberside was concerned for the high drying costs with 12-14% moisture in his oilseed rape. He also suggested the miserable spring weather had affected the yield of Royal oilseed rape.

Yorkshire farmer Catherine Thompson noticed there had been big differences in crops where heavy localised rain had fallen. Her oilseed rape still had too many red seeds when she tried cutting last Tuesday (26 July), and the moisture of 15% was too high.

Drying was also a problem for Edward Whitefield in Lincolnshire since the muggy temperatures meant moisture remained at around 18% for his wheat. He was concerned how the latest spell of rain would impact on the Hagberg levels.

In Pembrokeshire, Wales, Meurig Raymond expected his crops to have been hit by the early July drought, with yields of Caracus and Winner oilseed rape at 3.8t/ha, which was lower than the five year average. Rain has meant Mr Raymond had not cut any crops in five days.

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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