Harvest roundup: Back in business

A drier day today (15 August) has enabled many combines to return to action, although the split between North and South remains marked.

In Wiltshire, James Dean was about halfway through harvest at Church Farms, Salisbury, and was surprisingly pleased with yields.

“We’re cutting Cordiale wheat today, and on good ground it looks to be doing 10t/ha (4t/acre), and about 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) on the not-so-good ground,” he said.

Further north, Chris Cockayne hoped to finish combining at Top Brackendale Farm, Cropwell Butler, Nottinghamshire, this evening.

Although the weather had been relatively good over harvest, the dry spring had really knocked yields, he said.

“The yields are better than we’d thought before we started combining, but it’s not going to be a barn busting year.”

In Wales, Geoff Thomas was waiting for spring barley to ripen at Pantycoch Farm, Letterston, Haverfordwest, with just a little rapeseed left to cut.

“It’s raining again today – it seems to be two steps forward and three steps back. We’re usually thrashing about at this time of year, but there’s nothing ready.”

However, workloads were piling up in Yorkshire, where Paul Temple was combining at Wold Farm, Driffield after a prolonged period of rain.

“The combine is back in action. The problem is that all the work is coming at once now, instead of being planned and organised.”

The situation was even worse at Strathisla Farms, Perthshire, Scotland, where Adrian Ivory had recorded 100mm of rain a month since May and was thankful for his tracked combine.

“We’ve already had over 100mm in August so far. The wheeled combine just has to stay on firm ground, and we haven’t got much of that at the moment.”

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