Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Harvest is slowly progressing across the Southern half of England, but many winter barley and oilseed rape crops are not yet ripe.

In Oxfordshire, Justin Blackwood’s combine was yet to start rolling, although his winter barley was almost ready.

“Some of the barley on the medium land will meet its full potential, but on the light ground it has really suffered,” he said.

“The combine meter will be going up and down as you go across different soil types.”

Further east, Peter Wombwell had tried to start combining oilseed rape at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, but it was not quite ripe.

“I think there will be a big start towards the middle and end of this week.”

However, David Hues had finished combining winter barley at Galteemore Farm, Beckhampton, Wiltshire, and said yields were about average.

The 60ha (150 acres) of Sequel and Suzuka yielded just over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with a bushelweight of 68.5kg/hl.

In Surrey, Giles Porter had also been combining winter barley, for a neighbour, while waiting for his oilseed rape to ripen.

“It weighed reasonably well on the combine – I think it yielded about 8.75t/ha (3.5t/acre), and there was lots of straw.”

Harvest was some two weeks behind last year in Kent and Sussex, said Weald Granary’s Kenton Beasley.

Winter barley was averaging about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with oilseed rape yields pegged at just over 2.5t/ha (1t/acre).

“We’re nicely placed for a quick harvest, although with the oilseed rape and winter barley starting so much later it is going to run over into the wheat.”

Winter barley yields were proving extremely variable in Wereham, Norfolk, where contractor Cliff Armsby had cut 162ha (400 acres) of Pearl.

Yields ranged from 3.7t/ha to 7.4t/ha (1.5-3t/acre), depending on soil type, he said.

Ben Atkinson, who started combining Excalibur yesterday (19 July) in Lincolnshire, said oilseed rape yields were about average.

“Yields are about on the five-year average, but perhaps 10% down on the past two years, when we sold over 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), which was exceptional.”

  • To contribute your harvest news contact our Harvest Highlights reporter, Olivia Cooper, on 01392 877356 or e-mail Olivia.cooper@btinternet.com.

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