Harvest roundup: Rain causes further delays

Farmers in Scotland and the north of England continue to be frustrated by wet weather, with combines dodging the showers elsewhere.

In Morayshire, torrential rain had brought harvest to a halt again at Moray Estates, Elgin, where Martin Bridges had been unable to combine properly for almost a fortnight.

“We had 42mm at the weekend, and 24mm yesterday (10 August); the ground is really wet now, so I don’t know what’s going to happen when we do get back combining,” he said.

Derek Lamplough hadn’t even started harvest at Manor Farm, Scarborough, Yorkshire, with two inches of rain falling over the past week.

“It’s just rain after rain – it gets a bit dry – and then it rains again,” he said.

It was a similar picture at West Fellgate Farm, Wardley, Tyne & Wear, where Geoff Alderslade was waiting to combine winter wheat.

“We have had a lot of rain – it just seems to be never-ending,” he said. However, he had managed to finish his oilseed rape, with yields proving better than expected.

Further South, Nick Doig was very pleased with wheat yields at High House Farm, Thetford, Norfolk, where he hoped to be combining again this evening.

“The Scout did very well, with high bushelweights and good quality, on some quite strong land,” he said.

Claire performed well after linseed, but was a bit disappointing after winter oats, while Diego, after sugar beet on a neighbouring farm, excelled at 11.1t/ha (4.5t/acre).

Harvest was also going well at Robert Law’s Thrift Farm, Royston, Hertfordshire, although yields were generally below average.

Consort wheat, grown on the lightest land, averaged 7.6t/ha (3t/acre) as a first wheat, with Ambrosia and Istrabraq on better land yielding 9.6t/ha (3.9t/acre) and 9.3t/ha (3.8t/acre), respectively.

Globally, wheat production was likely to be 24m tonnes higher than last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s latest report.

It increased its forecast to 672m tonnes – 9.7m tonnes higher than last month’s estimate, with larger than expected crops in the Former Soviet Union, India, China and the EU.

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