Harvest round-up: An end in sight

Harvest has drawn to a close for many farmers across much of the UK, although there is still a mix of wheat, barley and beans to cut.

In Scotland, Jim MacFarlane only had 3ha of wheat left to cut at Edrington Mains, Edington, although low bushel weights and green straw had let the crop down and was making it difficult to combine.

“Combining had been hard and slow,” he said.

Further south, Michael Manners had finished cereals and was harvesting potatoes at Conicliffe Grange, Darlington.

He reckoned yields were down by 3.75 t/ha across his 272ha of wheat, while rotten potatoes were slowing progress on his potato harvester.

In Essex, Tim Cooper was concerned for his potatoes too, and a lack of rain was proving worrying for his rapeseed at Spring Farm, Wix.

“We’re going to put slug pellets on tomorrow (20 September) and then spray the volunteers,” he said.

“It’s drying out quickly on top but when you’re only planting 50 seeds per square metre it’s hard not to lose some.”

In Warwickshire, Joe Scott, farm manager for Ashby Ledger Farms, Rugby, was hopeful for his crop of maize left to harvest.

“Despite sitting for about six weeks following drilling in April, it’s taken off. I just hope the starch yield is good,” he said.

Tim Payne, farm manager at Hyde-Parker Farms, Long Melford, Suffolk, thought his crops had done fairly well, with an extra spray on some first wheats making all the difference.

“A spray after T3 on Oakley left the crop with a bushel weight of 73-75 kg/hl. People are biting my arm off for it.”

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