Harvest winds up in East, but others struggle

Many farmers are finishing harvest across the East of England, but others continue to struggle with the wet weather.

In Cambridgeshire, Oliver Walston finished combing wheat yesterday (1 August), and now had two days of winter beans to finish off.

“It was the second biggest harvest we’ve ever had,” he said. Yields averaged 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre) over a weighbridge – slightly down on 1999 yields of 10.7t/ha (4.3t/acre).

But in Bedfordshire, Stephen Bumstead was just over half-way through his wheat.

“What’s come in so far has been pretty good, with excellent specific weights,” he said. “Quality is holding up.”

In Aberdeenshire, Jim Cargill was cutting wheat today at 20% moisture, after two days of being rained off. “Everything looks to be yielding well.”

Most farmers in South Aberdeenshire were now into their winter wheat, while those further north were still combining spring barley, he said.

But in Northern Ireland Graham Furey was yet to even start on his spring barley.

Harvest was only about 40% through in County Down, he said, with about half of the wheat now in and just 5-10% of the spring barley cut.

“It’s a bit of a struggle.” His combine had not been out since Saturday (30 August) due to heavy rain, and crops were sprouting and shedding in the field.

In Shropshire, Alistair Home-Roberts was about 85% through harvest at Berwick Grove Farm, with just 55ha (135 acres) of spring barley and wheat to do.

Wheat yields were about 2.5t/ha (1t/acre) above average and bushelweights were excellent, he said. “We’re chuffed to bits.”


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