Harvest round-up: Excellent quality crops

Farmers are combining as quickly as possible, ahead of forecast rain across the country later this week (w/e 6 September).

In Eastern Scotland, harvest was about 60% complete, and although yields were close to average, quality was generally excellent.

“The main crop around here is spring barley, and farmers are about halfway through that now,” said Robin Barron, general manager at East of Scotland Farmers.

“Although there are some later crops, farmers will have broken the back of harvest this week.

“And the physical state of the grain is better than we’ve seen for many years, without any of the skinning, sprouting and splitting that we’ve been getting in wet harvests.”

Further south, Carl Tuer was busy combining winter wheat at Rock Farms, Alnwick, Northumberland, and was delighted with what had turned out to be one of his best harvests ever.

“It’s just been fantastic,” he said. “Yields are exceptional and it’s been a completely different year for us.”

Viscount and Cassius first wheat averaged between 11.5t and 12t/ha, with second wheat Beluga at 8.5-10t/ha.

“It’s been coming off at 14.5% moisture, which I’ve never known to happen,” added Mr Tuer.

In Suffolk, John Barrett was combining the last field of spring beans at Hill House Farm, Bungay, and was very happy with a good year of yields.

The 93ha of Fuego spring beans yielded an average of 3.7t/ha, with the best of the crop on the heavy land.

“The yields were lower on a block of poorly drained land, but we’re getting the land drainers in next week, which should make a significant difference for next year,” he said.

Harvest was almost complete in the South of England, with most crops coming off dry, according to Nick Matthews, trading director at Wessex Grain.

“The dry weather has been a Godsend over the past 10 days,” he said. “Most crops have been coming off at 15-16% moisture, so have required very little drying.”

Quality on the whole was excellent, although there had been a few patches of lower bushel weight grain where crops had died off on thinner soils, he added.

In Wiltshire, David Butler was pleased with harvest and well on track at East Wick Farm, Wootton Rivers, with only a few crops left to cut.

“We’re just finishing the winter wheat harvest and we’ve seen some very respectable yields,” he said.

The Horatio and Panorama yielded between 7.4t and 9.9t/ha, coming off at 16-17% moisture. Solstice was the most disappointing variety, reaching 8.1t/ha at best.

“The best of the crops were on the free draining soils, and quality was excellent all round,” he added.

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