Harvest round-up: Damp but happy so far

Frequent showers continue to frustrate farmers who are keen to get on combining, but most are still pretty happy with their yields.

Until now, David Hues at Galteemore Farm, Beckhampton, Wiltshire, had been one of many producers making the most of reduced drying costs.

“It had been going well until the break in weather over the weekend,” he said. “Now the driers will be back in action and we’ll be back to a normal, frustrating harvest.”

Although the Camelot oilseed rape yield was disappointing, at around 10% below the farm average, the Propino spring barley yields reached between 6.2 and 8.6t/ha.

James Stafford’s harvest at Pickwick Lodge Farm, Corsham, Wiltshire, was well on target for the year and he remained undeterred by the heavy rain. 

Winter oilseed rape yielded 3.2t/ha, which was average for the farm, while Cassia winter barley was more pleasing at 8.6t/ha.

Winter wheat had also been very good for the year, averaging 9.4t/ha and coming off the field at around 14% moisture.

Further North, Mr Wilkinson had seen surprising winter barley yields at Corpselanding Holme Farm, Yorkshire, with Cassia winter barley yielding a highly respectable 9.9t/ha.

He was now waiting to get the combine moving again to begin the winter wheat. “We put in 8ha of Kielder and the rest is JB Diego, which is looking quite promising,” he said.

“It wasn’t ready before the weather changed over the weekend, but the break looks to have done it some good and we’re hoping to get into it next week, or even at the weekend.”

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

In Norfolk, Simon Dann was waiting for the showers to pass at Pound Farm, Tuddenham and had seen record barley yields.
The Cassia and Volume winter barley was the best the farm had ever seen, reaching 11.6t/ha across some parts of the farm.

“The whole farm average was around 9.8t/ha, which we’re very pleased with,” he said. Solstice winter wheat hit the top grade for milling wheat and yielded 10t/ha.

“But the weekend’s weather has ground the combine to a halt, with the peas, wheat and grass seed still to go.”

In Scotland, Nick Davidson had made the most of the best start to harvest he had ever had at Clola Farms, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

His Volume winter barley yielded between 9.8 and 11t/ha, with moisture levels between 13.5% and 16% moisture, which was unheard of for the area.

He hoped to be moving into the spring barley and winter wheat next week – weather permitting.

“The torrential rain and winds over the past few days have made crops throughout the area look a bit sick,” he said.

“It hasn’t been good over the past few days, but it’s been worse further north from us. Good luck to everyone out there for the weeks of harvesting still to go.”

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