Rain slows progress in Co. Down

Wet weather has made for slow harvest progress in County Down, but Graham Furey is combining winter wheat at Castleview, Killyleagh, today.

“We did a bit of wheat yesterday (19 August), but there’s been very little wheat or spring barley cut in the area,” he said.

“The weather has been very mixed over the past two weeks, and although it’s dry today there’s another wet night forecast.”

The Einstein wheat had yielded well, at 10t/ha and 18% moisture, and early drilled Relay also looked good, said Mr Furey.

“But Diego doesn’t look as good. In general first wheats look well while second wheats are quite poor.

“There’s quite a lot of take-all around now, and some fields will probably yield just 5t/ha,” he added.

“I think there are going to be some good yields and some bad yields, and not a lot in between.”

Although there was still some winter barley left to cut in the area, Mr Furey combined his two to three weeks ago. “A lot of barley did very well, at over 10t/ha, but ours was more like 7.4t/ha.”

Oilseed rape was the most disappointing crop, with Excalibur yielding just 1.9t/ha. “From the day it went in, it was wet,” he said.

“We drilled it in the first week of September, and it suffered from pigeon damage and the cold spring – it’s never looked well but we just persevered with it.”

Compass rapeseed looked a bit better, and was now ready to cut. “We’ve got 12ha to do and some pods are starting to burst, so we don’t want a storm right now.”

Spring barley looked extremely mixed, with the best yielding crops having lodged in the wet weather, said Mr Furey.

“I’d say about 30% is lodged, with up to 50% down in some places. A few people are wholecropping it instead of waiting to harvest it conventionally.”


Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Cassia and Volume
Yield: 7.4t/ha


Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Einstein
Yield: 10t/ha


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Excalibur
Area: 20ha
Yield: 1.9t/ha


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