Harvest round-up: Cracking on again

Combines are rolling again across most of the country, with farmers keen to get crops in between the showers.

In Wiltshire, Colin Keevil was busy on the combine at Chapel Farm, West Knoyle, Wiltshire, with only one more week of harvesting left to go.

This year’s Compass oilseed rape yielded a very disappointing 2.9t/ha, which was well below the farm average.

“In the past we’ve had 4.9t/ha,” he said. “It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what went wrong – the establishment and weather conditions hadn’t been perfect but this was far lower than anticipated.”

In Kent, Jamie Clark hoped to finish harvest at David Clark Farms, Lenham, Kent, today (20 August), and was generally pretty pleased with how it had gone.

“The wheats have been very good; oilseed rape was disastrous again, and the peas were excellent,” he said.

“The Ahiflower we grow for Technology Crops did surprisingly well too, at 1t/ha, especially as it went in very late and didn’t get off to the best of starts.”

Further north, Guy Smith had also just about finished this year’s harvest at Wigborowick Farm, St Osyth, Essex, and was pleased to be well ahead of schedule. 

“We started cutting the wheat a fortnight earlier than usual and finished on 13 August which is a record for us,” he said.

The 202ha of Crusoe, Gallant and Cordiale winter wheat yielded around 10-15% higher than average, with Crusoe the star performer of the year.

See also: All the news, videos and harvest resources on our Harvest Highlights page.

In Yorkshire, Catherine Thompson was busy combining today at Holme House, Holme on Spalding Moor, and was pleased with wheat yields and quality.

“We’ve just had to do some minor repairs and the clouds are hovering again – we started off so well but then we had 73mm of rain and it’s all gone downhill since then,” she said.

“But it’s nice wheat, which is something – it’s hard to say yields as we have on-floor storage, but I think they are better than average.”
North of the border, Jim Whiteford was delighted with yields at Shandwick Mains, Tain, Inverness, although poor weather had put a damper on harvest progress.

“The weather has been pretty broken for the past 10 days, but we managed to get on combining yesterday at 21% moisture,” he said.

“We’ve cut 73ha of Concerto spring barley, and although it hasn’t been weighed yet it is looking like it’s doing over 7.4t/ha, which is incredible.”

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