Farmers have made good progress with harvest over the Bank Holiday weekend, although showers continue to frustrate efforts in some areas.
In Aberdeenshire, Jim Cargill was getting on well with harvest at Coldstream Farm, Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire, despite the catchy weather.
“It’s been difficult, but we’ve been relatively lucky compared to farmers further north,” he said.
“We’ve got 24ha of spring barley left to do of 121ha, and yields have been good.”
In Northern Ireland, harvest was now progressing well at Battletown Farm, Newtonards, County Down, where Mark McFerran had finished cutting winter barley and winter wheat.
“We cut 10ha of Cassia winter barley three weeks ago – it came off at 13% moisture and yielded 6.8t/ha, so we were very pleased with that,” he said.
“It was nice quality and the straw was baled straight afterwards, but the weather has been broken ever since.”
Across in Suffolk, Tony Pulham had finished harvest at Hugh Pulham Farms, Stowmarket, Suffolk, and was extremely pleased with yields all round.
“It’s been very good – we’ve seen some exceptional yields due to the good weather throughout the growing season,” he said.
“Unfortunately it reflects on the market price, with prices dropping like a stone.”
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Lower prices were no doubt aiding exports, as United Oilseeds loaded two shipments of oilseed rape last week, both destined for Rotterdam.
Last Monday (18 August) the firm loaded 1,850t on to the MV Britannica Hav at Inverness, with a further 2,650t loaded on the MV Nekton at Hull on Friday.
“United Oilseeds plans to export a further two shipments from additional ports on the East Coast this week,” said trading manager Owen Cligg.
Further south, Andy Hull had almost finished harvest at Dean Farm, Fareham, Hampshire, and was delighted with some record high yields.
“Harvest was going brilliantly until it rained – we thought we were going to finish on 3-4 August; instead we finished the last of the winter wheat on Friday,” he said.
“We’ve now just got some spring wheat to go, which will be ready this week.”