Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Harvest is progressing apace across the UK, and oilseed rape yields are generally better than expected.


Overall, rapeseed yields were about 3% down on last year, according to Owen Cligg, trading manager at United Oilseeds.

“We are seeing quite a few yield reports from the South and they tend to be holding up quite well, which is good news given the drought and the frost earlier in the year.”

Harvest was about 10% complete in the South, with progress only as far North as Lincolnshire by Tuesday (27 July).

Cabernet broke Stephen Horn’s record at Bushy Down Farm, Droxford, Hampshire, despite suffering frost damage earlier in the year.

So far the 57ha (140 acres) of Cabernet had yielded 4.8t/ha (1.95t/acre) over a weighbridge, while Vision averaged 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre).

New varieties also yielded exceptionally well at P & J Awdry & Sons’ Aston Farms, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, despite some wide variation. 

Having cut all the large trial plots, Pioneer varieties ranged from 3.6t/ha to 4.7t/ha (1.45-1.9t/acre), with W22 topping the chart, said arable manager Martin Smart.

But in Lincolnshire, torrential hailstorms had decimated oilseed rape crops at Ben Atkinson’s Grange Farm, Rippingdale.

Yield loss ranged from 0.5t/ha (2.5t/acre) to 4t/ha (1.6t/acre) in oilseed rape crops which would otherwise have yielded up to 5t/ha (2t/acre), he said.

In Cambridgeshire, Anthony Morbey was hoping to get on combining again today (27 July) at Cole Ambrose, Ely, after being hampered by showers.

“We have cut one piece of Castille oilseed rape, which seemed to yield about average, but it’s a bit too early to tell.”

Winter oats were producing an excellent sample at Chessons Farm, Wadhurst, Sussex, where James Fuggle had also cut all his winter barley.

“We started cutting oats yesterday (26 July) and it’s a lovely sample, with a bushelweight of 52-58kg/hl.”

Saffron winter barley was a bit disappointing at 6.2-7.4t/ha (2.5-3t/acre).“It came in at 10% moisture, so we’ve lost 4-5% of weight already.”

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