Harvest round-up: Rain, Rain, and more Rain

High winds and heavy rain have brought combining and fieldwork to a halt across most of the country today (26 September). 

In Cornwall, John Moss had just managed to bale all of his straw, although he still had 10ha of spring rapeseed to combine.

“It’s been a nightmare getting the straw dry enough,” he said. “I just want to get finished and put the job to bed.”

Further north, Mark Woodroff was welcoming a bit of rain in Lincolnshire, as it was making lifting potatoes easier.

“We were considering irrigating at one time but luckily it’s rained so we can get back on now.”

But it was a different story for David Watson at Cockle Park Farm, Morpeth, where fields and roads were badly flooded.

“The dairy cows are indoors, we’ve still got bales to bring back and the rapeseed is probably half way to Holland, judging by the amount of water flowing over it,” he said.

Malcolm Sym was suffering from similar weather near Ponteland, and didn’t expect land work to resume for a week or two.

“This is probably the worst year I can remember. Yields are down, the land we’ve sown rapeseed on has capped and it’s too wet for us to travel and do any drilling now.”

Scotland was in a sorry state, too, with waterlogged fields and drains unable to cope on Colin McGregor’s farm near Berwick.

“It’s pretty abysmal up here,” said farm manager David Fuller, who had 272ha of spring beans still to cut.

“We had 42mm of rain last night and winds of 60 mph. It will be the weekend, if not beyond, before we can get going again.”

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