Very late in Cornwall

Torrential rain yesterday (26 August) means Matthew Collins is unlikely to cut anything at Chy-Vellan Farm, Marazion, Cornwall, this week.

“We are getting desperate for dry weather, because the crops are starting to back up,” he said. “There hasn’t been much cut in the area at all.”

So far Mr Collins had cut 60ha of winter barley, which was pleasing at almost 7.4t/ha. “There was lots of straw, and it was a fairly decent crop.”

He had also combined 40ha of spring barley, which ranged from 5t to 6.2t/ha.

“We cut some at 15.5% moisture, and another field at 21% because the heads were starting to drop and I was worried we were going to lose it.”

He now had at least 200ha of spring barley to harvest, and said he might cut some wheat later this week for crimping.

“Some of the spring barley is still a bit green in the tramlines, so it’s not worrying me at the moment.

“It’s quite wet underfoot, and there are going to be some light crops around because we haven’t had the sun to make the grain fill.”

Light land had performed the best, added Mr Collins. “I cut some spring barley on sand last week – in a dry year it’s normally a light crop, but this year it was a cracking field of corn, at 6.2t/ha.”

Despite the late harvest, he was trying to remain optimistic. “We’re nearly into September and normally we’re nearly finishing off at this time of year, but we’ve hardly started.

“But we’ll get there – I’ve never not cut a field yet.”

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