Harvest roundup: Wednesday

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Torrential rain across the West of the country today (2 September), and spreading East tomorrow, means combines will once again be at a standstill.

Robert Craig had not cut a dry crop at Carse Hall, Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, since 10 August – and even that was winter barley at 17%.

“It’s a typical Irish summer, and people are starting to get desperate over here.” Farmers had cut just 10% of spring barley and 20% of their winter wheat in the area, he said.

In Somerset, Richard Payne had cut half of his spring beans at Manor Farm, Heathfield, before being rained off again today.

So far the 24ha (60 acres) of Fuego beans had yielded over 5t/ha (2t/acre), which was reasonable, he said.

“It’s not actually that late – it just feels late because we’ve been hanging around for so long.”

Geoffrey Williams finished harvest at Birklands Farm, Retford, Nottinghamshire, 10 days ago, and was pleased with his wheat yields.

“We had a good year – the first wheats were getting on for 4t/acre (9.9t/ha) and the second wheats averaged 3.25t/acre (7.9t/ha).”

Yields and quality were also pleasing at Stephen Horn’s Bushy Down Farm, Droxford, Hampshire, but prices were diabolical.

“Yields were very good, but it doesn’t compensate for the dire prices – we’re in for some big losses this year.”

Further North, in Durham, Michael Manners had finished combining winter wheat, but still had spring oats to cut.

“We had an inch of rain on Sunday (30 August) and everywhere is just sodden – it’s just hopeless.” Harvest was between 75% and 80% complete in the area, he said.

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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.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



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