Harvest roundup: North-south divide on progress

Harvest has once again become a polarised affair, with combines in Scotland and the North at threat of sinking, while others in the East have already finished cutting.

In the Scottish borders, Neil Thomson had not turned a wheel on the combine since Tuesday (9 August) at Caverton Mill, Kelso.

“The ground conditions are going to be our next concern; it’s going to be difficult to travel on the land.

“Already people have been investing in heavy ropes to pull their combines out of holes.”

In Lincolnshire, Chris Hewis had not combined for a week at The Grange, Habrough, and wheat quality was starting to suffer.

“The Grafton was ready to go last Friday (5 August), at 15.8% moisture, but by the time the combine was ready it was raining, and it’s been raining ever since.”

Wheat quality was starting to suffer, with ongoing rain prompting a revival of harvest premiums for grain which was ready to move, said David Sheppard at Gleadell Agriculture.

“Maybe 20% of the crop has been cut with quality issues, mainly confined to lower Hagberg Falling Numbers in Oakley, Viscount and some other feed type wheats.”

The West midlands seemed to have escaped more lightly, where Jamie Rogers had finished oilseed rape at White Hall Farm, Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire, and was waiting for wheat to dry out.

“We’ve hardly had any rain at all this week, but we haven’t had sunshine to dry it out, so it’s hovering around the 16.5-17% moisture level.”

In Wiltshire, Julian Cooke hoped to be combining wheat at Charlbury Farms, Swindon, this afternoon (12 August), having pulled out of oilseed rape.

“It is not quite fit; it’s hanging on for ages, so wheat will be next; we’re just changing the header over.”

The oilseed rape cut so far had been excellent, with Cabernet reaching up to 7t/ha (2.8t/acre) in places and averaging 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) across 23ha (130 acres).

Over in Cambridgeshire, Adam Horsfield had finished harvest at Great Wilbraham Hall Farm, Balsham, and was now busy cultivating after peas.

“We haven’t done badly; once we hit the wheat we just kept going – we only got rained off once.”

As soon as he had access to accurate yields, Mr Horsfield would upload them to Fwi’s yield watch. To view graphs for yields in your area, or to upload your own yields, click here.

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