Harvest roundup: Thursday

Rain has frustrated attempts to combine across much of the country today (22 July), but many crops are still not ripe.

Harvest progress was about normal in Wiltshire, said Nick Brown, store manager at Wiltshire Grain.

“Winter barley seems to have a good bushelweight, and has been mostly dry – the highest we’ve had was 17%,” he said.

Nitrogen content for malting barley was on the low side, but acceptable. Oilseed rape also looked to be of good quality, with oil contents higher than normal, at 44-46%.

In Hampshire, Brian Totman finished combining his Saffron winter barley yesterday at Portway Farm, Andover.

“It performed well at nearly 3t/acre (7.4t/ha) – we couldn’t believe it.” The 16ha (40 acres) averaged a bold bushelweight of 72kg/hl, and was already being loaded out.

Nick Harding’s winter barley exceeded expectations at Preston Farm, Tarrant Rushton, Dorset, at over 8t/ha (3.2t/acre) – about average for the farm.

“I’m fairly pleased with that, in view of some of the marginal parts of the field.”

Winter barley also yielded well at Gerald Godfrey’s Great Common Farm, Beccles, Suffolk, particularly on the heavy ground.

“I think on the basis of that, the wheat will be alright, although I think the rape is likely to be a bit disappointing.”

Oilseed rape was yielding between 3t and 4t/ha (1.2-1.6t/acre) in North Weald, Essex, said Andrew Kerr from Wyldingtree Farm.

“Our own Palmedor high erucic rape is still three or four days away but conventional varieties are being cut in the area.”

Combines across other parts of the country were waiting to roll, with Jonathan Holland expecting to be into oilseed rape in about 10 days time at Littlecote, Hungerford, Berkshire.

In Kent, Robert Shove reckoned he would be combining wheat near Rochester next week. “A neighbour was cutting wheat today and it all looks fairly good.”

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