Harvest roundup: Tuesday

A rare dry spell has enabled farmers to make progress on harvest across the country, with combines rolling from Devon to Northumberland.

The earliest winter barley and oilseed rape was now being cut in Devon, said Duncan Lyon, store manager at Devon Grain, although most fields were still not fit.

Early indications of quality were reasonable, but some crops did suffer in last week’s heavy rain and wind, he added.

In Shropshire, Richard Bruckshaw made a start on his oilseed rape near Telford yesterday (27 July).

So far he had cut 16ha (40 acres) of Excalibur at 11.5% moisture, and an average yield of about 4t/ha (1.6t/acre).

But in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, harvest had hardly started, said Robert Craig of Carse Hall, Ballykelly.

Less than 2% of the winter barley had been cut, and most was still 10 days away.

In the North East, harvest was just underway, with some farmers combining winter barley over the weekend.

A decent wind was helping to dry crops out after occasional showers, said Grainco’s Gary Bright, with barley cut yesterday (27 July) at about 15% moisture.

The rain was starting to raise concerns over quality in Norfolk, where winter barley harvest was about 25% through, said Owen Southwood, trader at Dewing Grain.

“You’ve got to be concerned now – some of the winter barleys are very fit. We might see some splitting from the crops cut after the rain.”

Oilseed rape was also at risk of shedding in Hampshire, where some crops had been sprayed off for up to three weeks.

Mike Clay, store manager at Hampshire Grain, said rapeseed harvest was only about 10% complete in the area.

“We’d expect to be into the thick of it by now. The rain has just been enough to stop people going.”

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

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