Harvest roundup: Monday

Drier weather has enabled farmers to resume combining over the weekend, although many crops are not yet ripe.

In Essex, Robin Bartleet was combining today (25 July) at Abraham’s Farm, Great Tey, and was reasonably pleased with yields so far.

Cassata winter barley yielded about 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), while Matros had done better, at just under 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “I think it’s quite a promising variety.”

Winter barley and oilseed rape yields had been fantastic at Hollygate Farm, Stragglethorpe, Nottinghamshire, but the lighter crops were still to come, said Peter Gadd.

Volume winter barley yielded an exceptional 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre), while a trial plot of Expower oilseed rape came off at 4.92t/ha (1.99t/acre).

“It’s the first year we’ve grown a hybrid and it’s the highest yielding piece of oilseed rape I’ve ever had.”

In Yorkshire, harvest was getting underway, and David Hinchliffe started combining oilseed rape today at Bank House Farm, Goole.

“We’ve just made a start so it’s too early to get an accurate idea of how it’s yielding, but it looks reasonable,” he said.

Combines were also rolling in Shropshire, but Andrew Digwood was yet to start at Willow Paddocks Farm, Bridgnorth.

His rapeseed wasn’t likely to be ready until the end of the week, but farmers nearby were busy cutting winter barley today.

“It’s still quite green, but people are just itching to get on.”

Matthew Collins was similarly keen to resume combining at Chy-Vellan Farm, Marazion, Cornwall, where a sea mist had put paid to hopes of cutting today.

So far his Saffron barley had yielded well, at over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). “We’ve been quite lucky in Cornwall; we had just enough rain at the right times to keep the crops going.”

In France, harvest continued to be held up by wet weather, sparking further concerns about grain quality, said a report by analyst Agritel.

More than half of the French harvest was still to be gathered, and it was unlikely that combines would make much progress before the second half of this week.

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