Harvest round-up: Catching up

Farmers have made excellent progress with harvest over the past week, but there is still plenty to go at.

In Cambridgeshire, Chris Butler had almost finished harvest at Bush Farm, Stow-cum-Quy, but had one field that is still too wet to combine.

“I tried it yesterday (9 September) and the combine kept sinking,” he said. “We had 45mm of rain in two hours over the Bank Holiday weekend which didn’t help it.

“I think I’m going to have to get a contractor in to get it drained.”

Further north, Steve Dawson was cutting winter wheat near Swainby, Northallerton, Yorkshire, today, and hoped to be finished by the end of the week.

“There’s 10-20% of the wheat left to cut in the area, and most people should be finished by the weekend, weather permitting,” he said. “We’ve made up a lot of time over the past week.”

In Scotland, Ian Moncrieff had almost finished combining spring barley at Berry Hill Farm, Dundee, and was now moving into winter wheat.

“We had a very good week last week, so most of the spring barley has been cleared around here,” he said. “But there’s a lot of wheat to do.”

Milling wheat was still in the field at Fieldfare Farms, Whitchurch, Shropshire, and Rob Bebbington did not hold out much hope for it.

“We were rained off today and the forecast is bad for the rest of the week,” he said.

“The milling wheat was ready three weeks ago, so it will be feed quality by the time it comes in.”

In Wales, Glynn Jones had finished combining at Plas-yr-Esgov, St. Asaph, and was heading off to Chester to help out at the Grosvenor Estate today.

“It’s a good hour and half drive in the combine, but both of our big combines finished up last night,” he said. “It’s been an exceptionally hard harvest.”

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