Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Harvest continues to make slow progress between the showers, and some wheat crops are starting to show signs of sprouting.

In Norfolk, John Kisby was half way through wheat at Cherry Tree Farm, Ten Mile Bank, and yields were similar to last year.

“The hot summer seems to have suit the fen – last year we did 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre) and yields this year are about the same, possibly a fraction up.

“But it’s been an expensive harvest – we have had to dry every grain of wheat, which has been coming in at 17-23% moisture.”

Spring barley was underway at Clive Tory’s South Farm, Spetisbury, Dorset, and he was now concerned about the wet weather.

“The Quench looks bold and is the right colour, but I am worried what’s going to happen with this rain – I don’t want it to start brackling over.”

In Berkshire, Charlie Edgley was just over half way through harvest at Kensham Farm, Cadmore End, and yields were very disappointing.

“It has been a bit of a nightmare getting it between the showers.”

The continuous Soissons, Cordiale, Solstice and Gallant wheat had averaged just 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre). “That is 0.5-0.75t/acre (1.2-1.9t/ha) off what I was expecting.”

But in Yorkshire Caley Sackur was making good progress between the showers at Lodge Farm, Tibthorpe, and was a third of the way through his wheat.

“We’re getting on really well and the yields are pretty reasonable, too. I don’t think the weather has affected the quality yet – it is still a good colour.”

However, elsewhere some crops were more than ready to cut, and the first cases of pre-harvest sprouting had been reported, according independent adviser NIAB TAG.

“The forecast for this weather to continue is not good news for growers, who will experience further delays,” said consultant David Parish.

He advised growers to prioritise crops. “Bring in the milling and quality wheat first and concentrate on those varieties that are susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting.”

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