Slow work near Reigate

Harvest is proving very slow and frustrating at Roger and Peter Colebrook’s Whitehall Farm, Reigate, Surrey.

“The grain is ripe but the straw is green; I’ve never known a year like it. We’re trying to cut Soissons at the moment; we sprayed it off two weeks ago but it just doesn’t want to ripen.”

On the Grade four light land, yields were likely to be 15-20% down, said Roger. “We lost a lot of tillers in the spring because of the drought.

“But quality is lovely, at 13.7% moisture, 13% protein and 310 Hagberg.”

So far he had cut about 20% of the wheat. “We have had so much rain all weekend, and coming today.

“But we have just got to keep on taking it when we can or we’re going to lose the quality.”

Cassia winter barley yielded slightly above average, and oilseed rape was also pleasantly surprising, he added.

“The Alienor rapeseed looked by far the better crop, but the Dimension, which didn’t look do good just about outyielded it.”

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