Harvest round-up: Drilling well under way

Continuing sunshine across most of the UK is allowing many farmers to harvest their last remaining fields, with most now well underway establishing next year’s crops.

In Shropshire, Bruce Udale had seen pleasing wheat yields at Eyton House Farm, Telford, and expected to get next year’s winter wheat in the ground over the coming days. 

Grafton, JB Diego, Humber and Relay winter wheat averaged 8.6t/ha across 385ha.

“JB Diego was very good as usual for us, and around the area it still seems to be the basis for most wheat farms,” he said.

Further south, Clive Tory had had an exceptional year at Lower Almer Farms Ltd, Blandford Forum, Dorset, with high yields across the board.

Crusoe winter wheat was a great success, yielding 11.4t/ha and hitting milling quality with a protein of 13.28% and bushel weight of 81kg/hl.

“We’ve also been busy soil testing and we plan to variably apply inputs next year which will be interesting,” he said. “We’re learning something new every year.”

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

Up in Scotland, Mike Cumming was busy drilling winter barley while also lifting potatoes at Lour Farms, Ladenford, Angus.

“The oilseed rape is in and established, and it’s been a good harvest all round for us despite the low prices,” he said.

Winter oilseed rape came in over budget, with Harper reaching the highest yield at 4.5t/ha. DK Expower came in at 4.2t/ha with Equinox at 3.9t/ha.

“Although the yields haven’t compensated for the extremely low prices, it’s made up about two thirds of the drop,” he added.

In Yorkshire, Derek Lamplough had also seen respectable yields all round at Manor Farm, Scarborough.

Conqueror and Vicount winter wheat averaged 9.9t/ha, coming off at around 17% moisture, while Propino spring barley reached 7.4t/ha and hit malting quality.

“Last year we saw the highest yields yet for the farm,” he said. “Even though it hasn’t been a top year, it’s satisfying to know everything’s off the ground and we have no complaints at all.”

Andrew Kerr had also wrapped up this year’s harvest at New House Farm, North Weald, Essex. But unlike some other producers, he wasn’t in any hurry getting next year’s crops into the ground. 

“We’re not putting anything in early due to blackgrass issues,” he said. “And it’s been so dry that we’ll wait until there’s good seedbed moisture.”

The ever-growing slug population was additional worry. “It’s getting beyond anything we’ve ever seen and becoming quite a concern.”

See more