Harvest round-up: Still challenging

Harvest continues to be a challenging affair, with wet ground conditions and heavy rain causing further delays today (17 August).

In Gloucestershire, Carl Grey was struggling to cut his organic wheat at Grange Farm, Bredon, having snapped a belt on the combine in sticky conditions.

“It’s not dry and it’s not pretty. There are lots of weeds too, particularly charlock, thistles and may weed,” he said.

Rain was also preventing any combining near Goole, Yorkshire, although David Hinchliffe had already cut plenty at Bank House Farm.

“We managed to get all of our rapeseed off at about 4t/ha, which was around 20% down on last year,” he said.

Further north, Iain Green was feeling lucky at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Morayshire, having missed all of Scotland’s frequent showers.

Winter barley yielded up to 10.1t/ha, but spring barley was seven to 10 days away, so Mr Green was busy silage making in between.

In sharp contrast, Stephen Whitby reckoned he only had four or five days’ combining left at Rowley Farm near Slough, Berkshire.

“Wheat has probably done under 7.5t/ha, with bushel weights between 70 and 74kg/hl, rising to some at 80kg/hl,” he said. 

“Quality wise, it was a mixed bag, especially as there was a bit of fusarium around.”

But in Hertfordshire, crops were only just fit at Robert Law’s Thrift Farm, Royston.

While rain had put a halt to combining on a second farm in Nottinghamshire, he was busy cutting rye at 16.5% moisture near Royston yesterday.

“Prices are good this year so hopefully that should make up for the loss in both yield and quality,” he said.

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