Still combining near Peterborough

Gary Mills is still combining at Haynes Farm, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, although he had anticipated an early finish.

“It’s been stop-start since the weather broke a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “We started cutting wheat in July and everything was being cut so quickly we didn’t think we’d still be cutting now, but then the weather went downhill.”

The 36ha of Skyfall and JB Diego winter wheat yielded well for the farm, although blackgrass had a significant impact across some areas.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Winter barley
  • Variety: Cassia
  • Area: 9ha
  • Yield: 8.6t/ha

“It was variable and coming in between 6.1t and 9.9t/ha,” said Mr Mills. “Luckily Skyfall did very well in areas where blackgrass could have been a huge problem for other varieties.”

See also: Harvest photos – the competition winners.

Cassia winter barley was very pleasing at over 8.6t/ha, coming in dry with good straw yields. “We try to let nature run its course and not put anything through the dryer if we can.”

Winter mustard had also been cut for a neighbouring farmer, which was a new crop for the farm.

“It’s done quite well at between 1.85t and 2.47t/ha,” said Mr Mills. “A lack of frost early in the year suited it well.”

There was still 12ha of Mulika spring wheat left to cut.

“We tried to put the combine through but it wasn’t quite ready and then the non-stop showers kept halting progress.

“It’s not what we could call a normal year, but with the weather so unpredictable year after year, it’s difficult to say what a normal year is.”

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