Harvest round-up: A mixed bag

Dry weather enabled combines to make good progress across much of England over the weekend – but further north and west conditions remain damp and soggy.

In Scotland, a deluge of rain yesterday and again this morning (20 August) stopped Neil Thomson from combining at Caverton Mill, Kelso.

While he’d cut all of his winter barley, cutting his own and a neighbour’s rapeseed was proving more tricky.

Further south near Newcastle Upon Tyne, Andrew Crewdson was rained off at Blagdon Estate, although he’d made good progress into winter barley and rapeseed.

While he hadn’t cut any wheat yet, his concerns were growing for its quality.

In Norfolk, flotation tyres had helped Matt Haddingham to make good progress at Thwaite Hall Farm, Bungay.

Direct drilling had helped to keep conditions firm underfoot, and wheat yields were proving pleasing so far.

A tracked combine was also helping Andrew Craig at Much Wenlock, Shropshire, although harvest had made little progress for three or four days due to ongoing showers.

“Winter wheat just hasn’t performed,” he said. “The Grafton has been devastated by fusarium.”

Wheat had also been disappointing at North Farm in Dorset, where heavy rain had thwarted any attempts to harvest today.

Peter Snell had also made a start on cutting Tipple spring barley, which was coming in between 14% and 16.5% moisture.

“There’s still some greenery in the tram lines which makes combining hard work and raises the moisture, especially in the morning or if we’re going late at night,” he said.

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