Harvest roundup: Tuesday

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Drizzle has brought harvest to a standstill again in Scotland, but elsewhere combining has continued apace.

In Burnside of Tynet, Clochan, Morayshire, Frank Thomson was rained off today (15 September). “It was wet on Sunday and it’s all stop-start again.”

Crops were testing at 20% moisture yesterday, so he decided not to carry on combining. “The way prices are you just can’t afford to be drying down from those levels.”

But in East Lothian, James Grant-Suttie had a good finish to harvest at Balgone Farms, North Berwick, and was now drilling his winter barley.

“Everything is pretty much cut around here – most people finished towards the end of last week,” he said.

Harvest in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, was still only about 60% complete, but Robert Craig had finished at Carse Hall, Ballykelly.

“Everybody has probably a couple of weeks backlog because of the weather – we weren’t able to combine for five weeks.”

Chris Vowles finished combining at Freemans Farm, Barrow Gurney, Bristol, yesterday, after five days of non-stop combining.

His Waggon spring barley proved extremely variable, ranging from just 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) to 5t/ha (2t/acre).

The dry spring was to blame, with crops on the lighter land suffering, while those on heavier soil performed better, he said.

In Haverfordwest, Geoff Thomas was relieved to be in the home straight at Pantycoch Farm, after a frustrating couple of months.

“It’s been never-ending – I’ve had enough, but now it’s finally stopped raining we are coming to the end.”

Further south, in Devon, John Moss was busy combining, with about 20% of harvest left to do.

“Yields are all over the place. The crops are better in Devon than Cornwall, where they were knocked by the constant humidity and rain.”

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