Rain slows UK harvest progress

Harvest has made slow progress over the past week, with wet weather meaning farmers cut just 3% of the combinable crop area.

That brought the total harvest to 92% complete by Tuesday (17 September), according to the latest ADAS / HGCA report, leaving spring barley, wheat, oilseed rape and pulses left to combine.

“The highest rainfall was in Southern England, with an average of 38mm of rain during the week,” said the report.

This had a limited detrimental impact in the South, with mostly beans and linseed left and ready to harvest.

“But in the north of England and Scotland the rain has caused delays with a large amount of wheat and spring barley left to gather.”

With 96% of the wheat crop in the barn, most of the remaining fields were in Scotland (33%), the North East (27%) and Yorkshire (21%), with small areas left in the Midlands, said the report.

“Any crops that remain are starting to look weathered, with leaning and lodging potentially a problem if harvest is delayed any longer.

“However, in Scotland, the late sown winter wheat and spring wheat varieties are not quite ripe for harvest this week.”

Spring barley harvest in England and Wales was nearing completion, and with Scottish farmers having cut a further 10% over the past week, progress was close to the five-year average at 75% complete in Scotland.

Yields were slightly above average, at 5.5-5.7t/ha, and quality was generally good, said the report.

Spring rape harvest was now 40% through, with above-average yields of 2.2-2.4t/ha. “Heavier soils tended to yield better than drier soils, as there was sufficient moisture at drilling to aid establishment.”

Need a contractor?

Find one now
See more