Frustrations build as rainstorms cause harvest havoc

Frustrations are building for many arable farmers as consistent rainstorms cause havoc with harvest, and lead to lodging of crops.

One farmer who is yet to get the combine cutting is Warwickshire dairy and arable farmer Charles Goadby, who says one-third of his 32ha winter barley area has now gone flat.

“The winter barley was ready a good 10 days ago but we’ve had constant rain showers which has given the crop a hammering.”

See also: Winter barley harvest so far variable on quality and moisture

Two days of torrential storms pushed the crop further and further onto the ground, says Charles.

“We’ve got a 35-acre field and 10 acres was completely lodged a couple of weeks ago. What’s more, the crows are constantly on it, so we’re trying to keep them off.”

Charles is concerned that if the weather doesn’t improve, his 240ha winter wheat crop could start to lodge.

“We are nowhere near crisis level yet, but it is just frustrating – especially when we’re seeing harvest pictures from parts of the UK flying through fields and I’m rained off with my feet up on the coffee table.

“The oilseed rape is now sprayed off and ready for harvest in 10 days’ time. Hopefully, the weather improves so we can get this done and avoid the wheats from lodging.

“We also need a good few dry days to get the straw baled in good condition for the dairy herd,” he adds.

Charles remains hopeful that the weather will improve, but with frequent short, sharp storms forecast for the next two weeks, an imminent start to harvest looks doubtful.

He is, therefore, taking a few days off with his family before the full swing of harvest commences – a silver lining after all of the challenging harvest conditions.

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