Poor weather halts Durham harvest

DURHAM farmer Michael Manners reckons times are “desperate” after continuous rain for the past 24 hours.

“I emptied the rain gauge and it had 31mm but there should be plenty more since I last emptied it.”

“Before the rain, the combine was already leaving marks in the ground and now after this rain the ground will just be soaking – it’s not pretty.”

Mr Manners was half way through harvesting 98 ha (240 acres) of oilseed rape on his farm near Darlington, Durham, before the wet weather brought the combine to a halt.

“We need some hot prolonged sunshine, so we can finish the rape and make a start on harvesting the wheat.”

So far he’s been “quite pleased” with the Maplus oilseed rape harvest yielding on average 4.2 t/ha (34 cwt) at 10% moisture.

Mr Manners said due to some variable moisture contents he had to dry about half of it.

He hopes to finish the oilseed rape this week and then make a start on some of his early wheat.

“The wheat had the potential to be fantastic. It looked very well, but since then it’s had no sunshine and now my wheat is looking murky and horrible.”

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