A break in the wet weather has allowed some farmers to snatch a bit more combining over the past couple of days, but showers continue to frustrate.
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Farmer Focus contributor Edward Tupper made a start on his wheat yesterday (6 August), and was pleased with yields so far. The first bit of Einstein cut near Petworth, Sussex, averaged over 10t/ha (4t/acre), but was coming in at 22% moisture. “We’ll take every opportunity to get on,” he said.
On the Isle of Wight Mark Orlick hoped to be on combining winter wheat this afternoon. He had cut 20ha (50 acres) of Solstice last week, which yielded well above average at 10t/ha (4t/acre).
But in Devon Troy Stuart’s crops were not ready, despite his efforts to get on between the showers. He cut Catana oilseed rape two weeks ago, at 4t/ha (1.5t/acre), but could not get on yesterday as the crop was still not ripe, at 30% moisture.
Water was lying in the fields at Ian Bird’s Catchgate Farm, near Hartlepool, with just 7ha (17 acres) of barley safely in the barn.
“It’s absolutely desperate – I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “It is wetter than it was last year – the land is soaking – it’s difficult to travel on some of our driest land today.”
In Scotland Doug Fowlie was disappointed with his Pastoral winter barley, which yielded below average at 7t/ha (3t/acre). Having cut 40ha (100 acres) he was half-way through the winter barley, but rain this morning meant he would not be getting on today.
And harvest was yet to start for Gerald Erwin in Co Antrim, with winter wheat the first crop on the agenda. “Most crops are looking well. If we can get a good window of weather we should be ready at the beginning of next week,” he said.
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high