Widespread showers have brought combines to a halt across much of the country today (10 August).
In Kent, Martin and Paul Boulden hoped to start combining winter wheat at Court Lodge, Aldington, but rain had stopped play.
“We have had quite a bit of rain this morning – and it has been a bit slow harvesting the oilseed rape between the showers – it’s taken us two weeks to cut it,” said Martin.
He finished combining rapeseed last night, and was reasonably pleased with yields of 3.8-4t/ha (1.5-1.6t/acre).
Harvest was on target at Meurig Raymond’s Trenewydd Fawr, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, at about 25% complete, and he hoped to be on again this afternoon after a damp morning.
He had cut 90% of his winter barley, with yields around 10% below normal, and 60% of his oilseed rape, which had yielded about average.
Further south, James Francis had finished combining oilseed rape at Manor Farm, Hemington, Somerset, and was well into winter wheat.
Oilseed rape yields were better than last year, but wheat yields were mixed, averaging 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).
“It’s not disastrous – normally we’d average 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) – and the Alchemy and Diego on heavier ground look well. They’re still about a week away.”
Wheat yields were between 5% and 10% below last year, but quality was generally good, according to Simon Ingle, head of central marketing at Openfield.
Crops on lighter soils in East Anglia had suffered the most, while those on heavier land in the midlands, which perhaps enjoyed more rain in the spring, were better, he said.
In Lincolnshire, wheat yields were 1.9t/ha (0.75t/acre) down on last year at Philip Shotbolt’s Ingthorpe Farm, Stamford, but harvest had run smoothly.
Having finished cutting Gallant winter wheat, yields had ranged from below 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) to above 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre), averaging 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).
“We’re very pleased with the quality – it is all top-spec milling quality.”
But in Angus, harvest had barely started, with crops just ripening and wet weather keeping combines under wraps, said Scotgrain’s Trevor Harriman.
“We have no oilseed rape cut yet at all – bits of spring barley have been done.
“Harvest isn’t late yet, but it’s becoming late – we’ll end up with oilseed rape, spring barley and wheat all ready together.”
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