Harvest roundup: Friday

Thunderstorms across the South and East of England brought most combines to a halt today (24 July).

In Wiltshire, James Dean had been combining winter barley, with Flagon yielding 8.7t/ha (3.5t/acre) and Wintmalt averaging 8t/ha (3.25t/acre).

Having started in 80ha (200 acres) of Cassata last night, Mr Dean was then rained off and was unlikely to make much progress today.

Flagon also proved pleasing for Tim Merry at JV Farming, Dorchester, Dorset. It had averaged 8.3t/ha (3.4t/acre) over the weighbridge, and passed for malting. 

“I am very pleased with both yield and quality,” he said.

Torrential rain was not causing problems for Andy Pendry in Kent today, as he had finished combining rape and was now waiting for wheat to ripen.

“The rape did very well – it’s been our best year.” Performing best was 39ha (96 acres) of Flash, which ranged from 4.6t to 5.1t/ha (1.9-2.1t/acre).

Oilseed rape had also exceeded expectations at Andrew Kerr’s Wyldingtree Farm, North Weald, Essex, but the worst was yet to come, he reckoned.

“I think a lot of people have cut their best crops first.” Wheat was still about 10 days away, and looked fairly average.

In Lincolnshire combines had started to venture out, but had been rained off today, said Jonathan Booth.

He was thrilled with his Suzuka winter barley, grown for seed. “It was fantastic – it did a good 4t/acre (9.9t/ha).”

Oilseed rape and winter wheat crops looked very mixed, and yields were likely to be well down on last year, he added.

The Met Office had issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain across much of England today, but forecast brighter skies on Saturday, with the best of the weather in the South East on Sunday.

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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.

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