Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Showers continue to frustrate attempts to combine, with rain spreading East across the country today (29 July).

In Derbyshire harvest was scarcely underway, said James Chamberlain of Glebe Farm, Shardlow.

Having swathed all the rape, he was one of the earliest farmers to start combining in the area, and still had Excalibur and more Bravour to get in.

Further North, in Tyne & Wear, Geoff Alderslade had finished his first block of winter barley, and was waiting for the remainder to ripen.

Harvest was a month ahead of last year, which was thwarted by the torrential summer. “There are one or two wet spots in the fields but it’s a lot better than last year.”

Progress was much further ahead in Cambridgeshire, where farmers had just 15% of winter barley left to cut, said Camgrain’s Philip Darke.

Farmers had combined about half of their winter rapeseed, which was getting in the way of ripening wheat. “It is frustrating – farmers just want to get on.”

Afternoon showers had stopped the combine at Gary Mills’s farm near Peterborough, but oilseed rape had so far proved better than expected.

“Considering when the Osprey was drilled (third week in September), and not in the best conditions, it’s done pretty well.”

Oilseed rape had also yielded better at Robert Shove’s Lillechurch Farm, Kent, than for a number of years.

The 62ha (153 acres) of Komando had averaged 3.9t/ha (1.6t/acre). “I’m very pleased with that – we’ve struggled to get decent rape yields for years.”

Many people had finished rape in the area, and harvest was about 10% complete, he reckoned.

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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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