Combine drivers are making the most of a dry day in the South East, but those further north have been hampered by rain.
The driest part of the country – Guy Smith’s Wigborowick Farm, Essex, was living up to its name, with Mr Smith hoping to finish his winter barley today (21 July).
“The weather hasn’t been too bad for us – I’ve tried not to start the drier, and all the barley has been coming in at 15% moisture,” he said.
In Kent, showery weather was doing nothing to help Martin Boulden’s crops at Court Lodge, Aldington, which were starting to suffer from drought.
Amazingly, the area had received virtually no rain since the beginning of March, and recent light showers were simply becoming a nuisance, he said.
Making the most of the dry spell in East Sussex, James Fuggle was combining winter barley at Chessons Farm, which was yielding well at almost 3t/acre (7.4t/ha).
“We’re getting on well today – it’s a nice dry day, but so far harvest has been very snatch-and-grab,” he said.
Further north in East Anglia, combines had ground to a halt, although many crops were still not quite ripe.
“It’s still a bit early,” said Terry Mayhew, grain buyer at Suffolk-based AtlasFram. “Although some rape and barley is clearly fit I wouldn’t have thought the weather will affect quality at this moment in time.”
Simon Schaanning, store manager at Honey Pot Store in Lincolnshire, said he had only received five loads of barley so far. “We’ve hardly started.”
And in North Essex and Hertfordshire very little had been cut, said Chris Collings of Harlow Agricultural Merchants.
“But what has been cut has been quite promising – quality and yields have been encouraging.”
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.