Harvest round-up: Into the finishing straight

Harvest is progressing well between the showers, and with brighter weather forecast many farmers are into the finishing straight.

Farmers combined more than 500,000ha in the week to 26 August, bringing harvest progress to 80% complete, according to the latest HGCA / ADAS harvest report.

Wheat yields were 10% above average and quality was good, although there were now some poorer quality samples coming in from the South where rain had caused delays.

“Farmers are frequently harvesting at 16-18% moisture, and up to 25% moisture where there is a back log of crops and risk of decline in quality from further delays,” it said.

In Warwickshire, Joe Scott had got about five days’ harvesting left at the Co-operative Farms, Ashby St Ledgers, Rugby, having already cut 1862ha of crops.

“The weather has been catchy ever since we got into the wheat, but we’re nearly there now – we’ve just got 162ha of wheat left to cut,” he said.

Gallant and Crusoe had yielded 9-9.5t/ha, with Crusoe coming out top, while Santiago and Kielder had yielded up to 11t/ha on clean ground. “Where there were blackgrass problems that dropped down to 7-8t/ha.”

Rain had brought combining to a halt at Grange Farm, Rippingale, Lincolnshire, but Ben Atkinson was around 70% through the wheat harvest.

“We’re not panicking because there’s better weather forecast after today (28 August) – three and half to four good days and everything should be in the barn,” he said.

“It’s the village beer festival tomorrow and we had been aiming for that but the weather has been a bit catchy.”

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

Further south in Hampshire, Nick Rowsell had finished the bulk of harvest at West Stoke Farm, Winchester, with just spring oilseed rape left to cut.

“We’re spraying that off tomorrow – it doesn’t look great, but it was just a stop-gap crop after the wet winter we had,” he said.

“Considering how bad the crops looked in the first week of March it’s amazing how well they have yielded.”

In Yorkshire, Andrew Gloag had just 65ha of wheat left to cut at Busby House Farm, Stokesley. “A couple of fine days and we will finish, which is just exceptional for us up here,” he said.

“Wheats have been very good, barley disappointing and oilseed rape wasn’t as good as it looked.”


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