Harvest round-up: Patchy progress

Farmers are making patchy harvest progress, with showers and variable crop maturity proving a little frustrating in some areas.

Heavy rain overnight dampened any hopes of combining in Berwickshire today (13 August), but soil conditions remained good for oilseed rape establishment.

“We’ve had 130mm of rain over the past two weeks, so are getting a bit nervous,” said Colin McGregor at Coldstream Mains Farm, Coldstream.

So far Mr McGregor had cut all of his Volume and Cassia winter barley, with mixed results. “I think the Cassia probably had the edge, but overall yields were below average.”

Across the water in Northern Ireland, Richard Kane had had a bad spell of weather at Broglasgow House, Myroe, Londonderry, so had only just started combining oilseed rape today.

“We’ve had 50-60mm of rain over the past 10 days, and there’s been very little cut in the area,” he said. “Although the winter barley looks okay, the spring barley is starting to go down.”

In Worcestershire, oilseed rape and wheat were both yielding well at Park Farm, Hanbury, but rain had prevented further progress this afternoon.

“We’ve cut 65ha of oilseed rape, which averaged 5t/ha – so I’m really pleased,” said Roger Brian.

Santiago and Claire winter wheat yielded 7.9t and 8.6t/ha, respectively. “Harvest has been a bit patchy – we’ve done half of one field and then moved into another,” he added.

But in Wiltshire, James Dean had made an excellent start to harvest at Church Farms, Salisbury, with almost 400ha now cut and in the barn.

“We’ve done all the winter barley, which averaged 7.4t/ha, and in the next couple of days will have finished the oilseed rape,” he said.

Mr Dean had also cut 80ha of naked oats, which yielded over 5t/ha, and 100ha of peas. “The maple peas averaged 5t/ha, while the Prophet large blues did 3.7t/ha,” he added.

Further north, Richard Beachell was back on combining today at Field House Farm, Bainton, Humberside, after showers swept through the area yesterday.

“It’s going alright – we’re just nipping away as and when the crops are ready.”

So far Mr Beachell had cut 32ha of Cheerio spring barley, which was yielding 8.6t/ha at 16% moisture, according to the combine scales. “It’s certainly doing over 7.4t/ha, and it’s a really lovely bold sample,” he said.

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