Harvest roundup: Friday

Farmers have been combining late into the night to get crops off before more rain arrives, and quality remains good so far.

In Essex, Tim Cooper hoped to finish harvest this evening (20 August) at Spring Farm, Wix.

“We’ve been getting on reasonably well – we’ve had a few late nights this week as we wanted to finish before the rain, forecast for the weekend.

“Yields have been poor because of the drought, which was expected – they are about 15% down.”

Joe Scott was two-thirds of the way through harvest at Ashby Ledger Farms, Rugby, Warwickshire, and wheat yields were about average.

 “Most of it is having to be dried as it comes in. It’s too wet to be combining today, but we have drilled 150ha (370 acres) of oilseed rape now.”

Wheat harvest was about 40-50% through near Brandsby, Yorkshire, and yields had been all over the place, said contractor Keith Snowball.

Overnight showers had put wheat at 18% today. “I don’t think we’ll be into wheat today – I might do some more oilseed rape.”

Further south, Edward Whitfield had finished combining milling wheat at Gibbs Farm, Spalding, Lincolnshire, but yields and protein content were disappointing.

“We got all the milling wheat in before the last lot of rain. Yields haven’t been very good because it was on light land.”

Cordiale ranged from 4.9t/ha (2t/acre) on light gravel, up to 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) on better soils. But protein was low, at 11.5-13%. “I don’t understand why.”

In Kent, Brian Mummery was two thirds of the way through harvest at Great Pett Farm, Canterbury, with just spring wheat left to cut.

“The Paragon wheat looks okay – it will be ready next week.”

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