Harvest round-up: Yields remain pleasing

Farmers are making the most of this week’s better weather to finish up the last of harvest – and yields remain generally pleasing.

Wheat yields from HGCA Recommended List trials were 1.5t/ha above the five-year average, at 11.53t/ha, with first wheats in Leicestershire averaging 13.73t/ha.

Provisional results put the hard wheat Evolution at the top of the yield list for 2014, yielding 105% of the control varieties.

“Soft feed varieties which performed well include Leeds (104%) and Panacea (104%),” said recommended list manager Simon Oxley.

However, the five-year average figures were more meaningful when looking at performance, and all of the above varieties had decent 2014 and over-season average figures.

Stephen Sant was reasonably pleased with above average yields at Model Farm, Hanchurch, Staffordshire, where he finished harvest on Saturday evening.

“Our Diego first wheat did about 9.3t/ha, and yielded between 8t and 8.6t/ha on varying soils as a second wheat,” he said.

“But the Grafton first wheat only managed 8.6t/ha because harvest was delayed by two weeks following the rain in August, which meant bushel weights fell to about 74kg/hl. Yields would have been better without that.”

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

In Yorkshire, David Hinchliffe was busy combining spring beans at Bank House Farm, Goole, today (9 September), leaving just 38ha left to cut.

“We’re not quite halfway through the Fuego spring beans and they’re doing quite well,” he said. “They’re probably averaging nicely over 6t/ha.”

Wizard winter beans, cut last week, also did well, at 5.5-5.8t/ha. “We have good bean soil here – they usually do alright.”

North of the border, James Porter was combining the last of the spring barley at West Scryne Farm, Carnoustie, Angus, today, and was delighted with yields all round.

“It’s been a pretty good harvest,” he said. “Although the weather has been quite catchy, we’ve had some good crops.”

Nearly all of the Waggon and Odyssey spring barley – grown for seed – had yielded 8.6t/ha, although the final two fields were closer to 7.4t/ha, said Mr Porter. “Even that was better than I’d expected.”

At the opposite end of the country, Tony Higgins had had a relatively easy harvest at Middlegate Farm, Langport, Somerset, having finished combining beans on Saturday.

“We got almost all of our own crops cut by the end of July, and have now finished the contract combining as well,” he said. “We’ve done around 810ha of combining and are well ahead of ourselves, which is unusual.

“There are still odd bits of wheat and barley left to cut around here, so we can’t complain.”

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