Harvest round-up: A big surprise

Harvest is continuing apace, with many pleasant – and some not so pleasant – surprises.

In Cambridgeshire, Anthony Carr was two-thirds through this year’s harvest at Offord Hill Farm, Godmanchester, and had seen some surprising results.

“It’s going very well – the weather’s moving things on nicely,” he said. “With the winter barley and oilseed rape out of the way, there’s just the spring barley and winter wheat to go.”

Further north, Derek Lamplough was busy finishing spring barley at Manor Farm, Scarborough, Yorkshire, and was delighted with harvest so far.

“We’re extremely pleased with the winter barley this year,” he said. “I won’t say it’s record breaking, but it’s certainly as good as any we’ve has over the past few years.”

The 40ha of Venture barley yielded just under 8.6t/ha, while Propino spring barley was yielding almost 7.4t/ha.

In Scotland, Charlie Stewart was halfway through the spring oats at Merton Estates, St Boswells, Kelso, but had been unable to make a start on the oilseed rape so far.

“It is ready in some places, but not others, so we’re still waiting,” he said.

The 160ha of Firth spring oats cut so far yielded an average of 5.2t/ha. “We would usually hope for more, so the yield has been quite disappointing. This year is one of those years we just want to put behind us.”

But at the opposite end of the country, Phil Daniels was making excellent progress with harvest at Bradbury Barton, South Molton, Devon, with some very good yields as well.

“This is our first year away from organic crops and it’s all going extremely well,” he said.

The 160ha of Quench spring barley that he had cut so far was yielding 7.5-8t/ha and coming off at 13.5-16% moisture.

“All in all, we’re very pleased. The year’s proved perfect for us and we’re hoping to be finished within the next 10 days.”

In Wiltshire, Edward Parsons was finishing harvest at Templemans Farm, Redlynch, and was really quite pleased.

“We’ve seen some exceptional yields and we’re hitting targets,” he said. Claire winter wheat reached 9.9t/ha, with a bushel weight of 80kg/hl, and Cabernet oilseed rape had also done well at 3.7t/ha.

“As long as conditions stay this good, we should have finished drilling the 2014 oilseed rape by the end of next week (w/c 2 September),” Mr Parsons said. “For the first time in five years we’re really on top of things.”

Need a contractor?

Find one now
See more