Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Heavy rain again today has extended harvesting delays across much of the country, but concerns over quality are yet to be borne out.

Harvest was going very slowly in Shropshire and the west midlands, with just 30% of the wheat cut so far.

However, crops were only just ripe, so were not at risk of losing Hagbergs yet, said Julian Walker at Shropshire Grain.

“It’s not coming to any harm yet – and the forecast is good for the weekend. It could be a very different picture this time next week.”

Ian Green had not combined since Sunday night (22 August) at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Morayshire.

“The quality has been absolutely excellent so far, but we need the weather to get it harvested – I’m a little bit concerned that we’re going to start seeing pre-germination and splits.”

Harvest progress was ahead of last year at Sentry Farming, covering from Scotland to Dorset and much of East Anglia.

As of 20 August harvest was 54% complete, compared to 50% by the same date last year, said John Barrett at Sentry Farming in Norfolk.

“Yields on most crops are down across the board – peas are the only crop that are yielding better than budgeted.”

Harvest in Somerset had progressed reasonably well, but farmers in Devon and Cornwall were struggling with another wet harvest.

Ian Eastwood, marketing manager at West Country Grain, said producers in Somerset had only 25% of their wheat left to cut, followed by beans.

But in Devon and Cornwall harvest was 25% to 75% through. “Some people have just cracked on in all weather, while others have left it, and perhaps regret that now.”

Those in East Lincolnshire had not combined for the past 10 days, according to independent agronomist Bridget Carroll.

“The yields are fantastic – we just can’t get at them. No-one has reported any sprouting but it is warm and wet so I would imagine there will be some.”

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