Making the most of the dry spell

Farmers are making the most of the dry weather, with combines rolling across most of the country.

Chris Hewis hoped to finish his spring barley today (19 September) at Habrough, Lincs, leaving four days’ combining in winter wheat.

“It’s looking well, although most of it has a small amount of germination in it, and is looking shrivelled.”

He reckoned farmers still had about a quarter of their wheat to combine in the area.

In Dorset, Nick Harding had just finished harvest, and most farmers were winding up in the area.

Although he was pleased with his wheat yields, quality was appalling, as the wheat had sprouted and lost its Hagberg, he said. 

Further north, Tim Morris was finishing off his own harvest at Coneygar Farm, Cirencester, Glos, leaving 40ha (100 acres) of wheat to do on a neighbouring farm.

“The yield has dropped from just short of 4t/acre to just over 3t because the grain has all sprouted and shrivelled,” he said.

Spring barley was the success of the season, with the Westminster yielding over 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre) and all going for malting, said Mr Morris.

But in Northern Ireland harvest was about three weeks, said Robert Craig, who was yet to make a start on his spring barley.

“It’s only really ripe this week so it’s not too bad – there’s a lot worse in the area,” he said.

He reckoned farmers still had 50-60% of spring barley to cut in the area, and about 10-20% of their wheat.

Farmers in Aberdeenshire still had 40-50% of their wheat and spring barley to cut, said Nick Davidson.

But he was fortunate enough to have finished, and was thrilled with yields all round.

“Our contractor has been fantastic – he brought in two big Lexion combines to finish off. But there’s a lot of wheat and spring barley still to cut around here.”


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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


See the New Farm Crops website.



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