Stop start in Kent

Harvest is about 30-40% complete in Kent, but wet weather has prevented many farmers from combining since last Thursday (4 August).

Some people had combined at 19% moisture on Sunday, said Tim Porter, grain trader at GH Grain, but showers put harvest on hold again yesterday.

“People might get going again this afternoon if the rain holds off.”

Wheat yields had been very variable, from 6t/ha to over 11t/ha (2.4-4.5t/acre), he said. “On the whole, yields have been higher than expected.

“One thing that has been constant is the bushelweight, with many over 84kg/hl and averaging about 82-83kg/hl.”

Quality of Solstice and Gallant cut before the rain had been excellent, with protein contents averaging 13-13.5% and Hagbergs of 300-400, he added.

“Where crops have yielded well there has been some protein dilution. We’ll have to keep a very close eye on Hagbergs after this rain, especially with the soft wheats.”

Farmers had cut very little spring barley, said Mr Porter. “The trouble has been secondary growth, which is delaying harvest.”

Winter barley yields were unexciting, at 7-8t/ha (2.8-3.2t/acre). “We haven’t seen many nitrogens below 1.9%.”

Oilseed rape yields had been good, with 95% now cut, and pea yields were reasonable, considering the dry spring. “The peas stood up very well.

“They were good quality before the rain but that will fall away now.”

About 10% of winter oats had been combined, with bold bushelweights of 50-52kg/hl, he added.

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