Rain making everything difficult in Durham – harvest update

He‘s had 7 inches of rain in the last 3 weeks and now the fields “are completely sodden”.

Half of the Maplus oilseed rape was cut before the rain and Mr Manners says the difference between the crops combined before and during the rain is very noticeable.

Yields were down by 1 t/ha on the later cut crops at 3.4 t/ha (28 cwt).

“The crop looked good, but when you looked underneath you could see the bottom pods were open and starting to sprout. It looked awful.”

Mr Manners got the crop off the field quickly with some much appreciated help from his neighbouring farmer.

He says he won‘t grow much oilseed rape next year, if any, especially as the fields are so wet nothing can be done.

“I‘ve all but abandoned the rape. I think spring beans will be on the agenda.”

Mr Manners has also harvested 20ha (50 acres) of Malacca and another 40ha (100 acres) of Napier with quite good results.

He was especially pleased with the Napier which yielded 9.88 t/ha (4 t/acre).

Some of the crop has been harvested at 23% moisture in order to get it into the shed.

“At the end of the day you‘ve got to do it. We wouldn‘t stop harvesting until it got to 25% moisture.”

“If we get a week of continuous dry weather then we‘ll make a real hole in the harvest.”

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