Heavy rain destroys crops

Heavy rain over the weekend flattened crops across the country, turning the harvest into a desperate salvage operation.

“Anything that was standing is now not standing, and anything that’s on the floor is just sprouting,” said Andrew Symonds near Worcester. “It’s pretty dire.”

Although yields had been good at 9-10t/ha (3.6-4t/acre), all milling quality had been lost.

In Devon, Troy Stuart was combining at every opportunity, salvaging some wheat crops at 34% moisture.

Almost everything had sprouted, and with two inches of water in some fields, Mr Stuart was worried about travelling on the land.

The same was true in Berkshire, where George Brown was on combining at over 20% moisture.

“Some of the wheat is as green as grass where it’s gone flat and sprouted – and nearly all of it has gone flat now,” he said.

“I was on ploughing this morning in conditions I wouldn’t dream of touching in the middle of winter, but we haven’t drilled any rape yet.”

In Durham, Michael Manners had measured three inches of rain in the first eight days of September. “It’s just horrendous.”

Although he had cut most of his winter wheat, this year’s potato harvest and next year’s crops were of more pressing concern.

“This weather is going to make a mess of two years,” he said.

But the far North had escaped far more lightly, said Sandy Norrie, who was on combining today in Aberdeenshire.

“We’ve been very lucky compared with the rest of the country,” he said.

Mr Norrie was halfway through his spring barley, and had just made a start on the wheat after getting on with some drilling.


See our rapidly growing Harvest Highlights gallery of pictures sent in by users.

Sign up to our Save our Sprays petition.


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See the New Farm Crops website.



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