Harvest roundup: Thursday

Combines are continuing to dodge the showers, with forecasts proving wrong across much of the country.

In Wales David Price was about a third of the way through harvest at Presteigne, Powys, but was yet to start on oats or winter wheat.

“We have just had shower after shower – and the forecast has been an absolute joke.”

Saffron winter barley was poor, yielding just 6.4t/ha (2.6t/acre). “But it was a third successive cereal so we weren’t expecting much.”

In Scotland, fine weather saw Adrian Ivory combining today (19 August) at Strathisla Farms, Meigle, Perthshire.

“We started spring barley on 13 August and we’ll be 60% through it now. We’re getting on quite well, considering we had 5.5 inches of rain in July.”

Optic spring barley was yielding about average at 5.6-6.2t/ha (2.25-2.5t/acre), and quality was good at 1.3-1.4% nitrogen and 68.9kg/hl.

William Greenwood had been rained off at Swanborough Farm, Lewes, East Sussex, today, but hoped to be combining again tomorrow.

“It’s frustrating because we only have about four days left to finish harvest.”

So far he had cut 100ha (250 acres) of Einstein winter wheat, which was coming off at 15-17% moisture and yielding about average at 8.9t/ha (3.6t/acre).

James Stafford had been combining most of the week at Pickwick Lodge Farm, Corsham, Wiltshire, despite forecasts of frequent showers.

“We were meant to have a wet week, but we have cut every day until we got rained off last night. The wheat is over 20% today.”

So far he had finished combining oilseed rape and spring barley, and was about halfway through his wheat. “We’re getting on alright.”

In Northern Ireland, Robert Craig had finished combining winter barley at Carse Hall, Ballykelly, Co. Londonderry, and had 10-14 days before spring barley was ripe.

The first stand of Saffron yielded about 15% below average, at 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), while the second batch was closer to normal at 9.3t/ha (3.75t/acre).

“We cut it at 17-18% moisture, and although it was showery we got most of the straw in within a few days.”

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