Harvest round-up: Hoping for more sun

Many farmers are praying for a decent break in the weather to finish the last leg of this year’s harvest over the coming days.

In Cambridgeshire, Ernie Chambers had an hour of combining left at Lode Way Farm, Haddenham.

The 80ha of Cordiale winter wheat yielded around 9.8t/ha, according to the combine scales. But Tipple spring barley was less pleasing at just over 4.9t/ha.
“It was a disappointing year for the barley,” said Mr Chambers. “In the past we’ve seen yields reach 5.6t/ha. Some of it was too dry when we cut it, and some parts just didn’t come right.”

In Somerset, James Francis had only the wheat left to cut at Manor Farm, Hemington.

Compass oilseed rape had yielded around 3 to 3.2t/ha on the better ground, but Troy had been a disaster on the worst ground, and in some places only managed 1.2t/ha.

“It was poor from the start, with some parts so wet we just couldn’t get on it with sprays and fertiliser,” he said. “It just didn’t get going, but it’s difficult to pinpoint the better variety as Troy had the worst ground to contend with.”

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

Showery weather in Devon meant Phil Daniels was waiting for more rain to pass at Bradbury Barton, Umberleigh.

So far, the Alchemy winter wheat had yielded 10.8t/ha, which was excellent for the farm. “We started cutting it on 25 July, which is a record for the farm,” he said.

“We’re now back to a waiting game until the weather improves. As soon as it changes we can get the combine moving again on and we’ll be over the final hurdle.”

In Scotland, Frank Thomson still had a long way to go at Burnside of Tynet, Buckie, Moray. 

“It’s not been going well and has rained non-stop for the past four days,” he said. “When we start to get going it rains again and it’s been difficult to get a good run at anything.

“The river running through the farm burst its banks over the weekend,” he added. “Luckily the forecast looks good over the next few days, so there won’t be any social life for the team this weekend.”

Further south, Rod Smith was having an exceptional year at Beal Farm, Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland.

The 130ha of Croft winter wheat yielded a very pleasing 12.2t/ha. But the 53ha of Leeds winter wheat was even more outstanding, with yields between 12.67 and 13t/ha.

“It’s been going extremely well and we were even selected to contend in the world record,” said Mr Smith. “Unfortunately, the area put forward for the record didn’t turn out to be our best wheat yield on the farm.”


See more