Harvest 2019: Heatwave brings on wheat combining in Cambridge

Wheat harvest is kicking off, with one of the first crops cut showing yields of about 8t/ha.

The wheat gave a bold sample, which was better than last year’s drought-hit, pinched grain.

David White in Cambridgeshire cut 20ha of the milling variety Zyatt on Wednesday afternoon on some of his lighter land, with grain moisture falling from 15.5% to about 13% through the day

“For winter wheat on light land this is reasonably respectable. It’s early days yet, but it’s a better start to harvest than last year,” he told Farmers Weekly.

See also: Harvest 2019: Cornish oats perform well, with yield near 7t/ha

The milling wheat was being loaded for transport to nearby grain co-operative Camgrain, where the grain quality will be fully assessed.

Mr White said the combine yield meter ranged from 7.75t/ha to 8.2t/ha through the crop.

Dry harvesting conditions

“It’s obviously easier when it’s dry, and with temperatures over 30C, it is making combining a little quicker,” he added.

The 20ha harvested was on some of his lighter soil, and the rest of his 70ha of milling wheat still has a bit of sap in the straw and only be harvested by the end of next week.

Mr White grows Zyatt, Skyfall and the older milling wheat variety Solstice.

He farms 160ha at Hawk Mill Farm, Little Wilbraham, just east of Cambridge, growing a range of crops, including winter wheat, spring oats and spring beans, on his generally chalky loam soils.