Slow start to harvest in Kent

Harvest has had a slow start in Kent and Sussex, with intakes at Weald Granary some two weeks behind last year.

Kenton Beasley, transport manager, said winter barley and oilseed rape only started coming in this week, with yields and quality proving extremely variable.

“Some crops have been very patchy, particularly in North Kent – but in the Penshurst area some farmers are expecting their best crop ever.

“It’s going to be the year of the micro-climate.”

Winter barley was averaging about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), with some malting samples failing due to high nitrogen contents, said Mr Beasley.

Oilseed rape samples were bright, with yields pegged at just over 2.5t/ha (1t/acre). “I’m going to get some Mascani oats today (20 July) and they are nice and bright, too.”

With little other demand for bulk haulage, transport should not be a problem this year. “We’re nicely placed for a quick harvest, although with the oilseed rape and winter barley starting so much later it is going to run over into the wheat.”

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