Harvest round-up: Making the most of the sun

Harvest is drawing to a close in some areas, while elsewhere combines remain full steam ahead to gather in remaining crops. 

In Northumberland, James Walby was putting in next year’s Claire winter wheat at East House Farm, Ponteland. “We’ve been out on heavy ground today (28 August) while the sun’s still shining,” he said.

This year’s Claire winter wheat reached average yields and came off at between 17% and 20% moisture.

“It looked okay right up to harvest, but the yields weren’t as high as we had anticipated, which was disappointing.”

Lesley Murfitt had also finished combining at Butchlands Farm, Littleport, Cambridgeshire.

“We had 73ha of winter wheat split between Scout, Relay, Claire and Panorama – and Relay was the star performer of the year,” he said.

Winter wheat yielded an average of 9t/ha according to the combine scales, and came off around 16% moisture.

“Although we’ve not seen any record yields ourselves, we cut a 2.5ha block for a neighbouring farmer which was exceptional at 12.5t/ha,” he added.  

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

Over in Gloucestershire, Richard Daniels had put the combine away at Broadfield Farm, Eastington.  

“As an organic farm, we’ve had a very pleasing year from start to finish and conditions have been ideal with no disease issues,” he said.

The 182ha of Westminster spring barley yielded well at 4.9t/ha, coming off between 14% and 17% moisture.

In Berkshire, Nigel Horne was still getting on with harvest at Catmore Farm, Newbury, with winter wheat and spring beans left to cut.

Of the Solstice winter wheat cut so far, yields were high, but protein was less than hoped for, falling below the Grade One target.

The 80ha of Propino spring barley was pleasing, with above average yields. “We grow the spring barley on a seed contract and are still awaiting germination results,” Mr Horne said.

“Unfortunately nothing was fit in July, so we suffered in catching the wet break in weather over August.”

Up in Scotland, Sandy Norrie still had 405ha of winter wheat left to cut at Muirden Farm, Turriff.

Of the top three winter barley varieties harvested this year, Volume was the most consistent at 9.8t/ha. Most of the Meridian and Glacier averaged 11.3t/ha. 

“We’re hoping to get the winter barley drilled next week as well as getting the last of the winter wheat cut,” he said. “It’s all fingers crossed for a good few weeks to come.”



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