Weather dampens harvesting hopes

Combines have been out between the showers in parts of the country, but many areas are still being frustrated by the weather.

In Essex Carl Juhl was cutting Tipple spring barley at 20% moisture today (11 August), having started combining late yesterday afternoon. It was averaging about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) so far.

Wheat was ripe and ready to cut at Jealott’s Hill Farm, Bracknell, Berks, but forecast showers meant Innes McEwan was unlikely to get much done this week.

“It’s still a reasonable colour and is standing up,” he said. “We could really do with getting on but it’s not too urgent just yet.”

In Shropshire Bruce Udale was finishing his oilseed rape today, with an above average yield of 4t/ha (1.6t/acre). He had also cut some Dalguise winter oats, at more than 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) and 53kg/hl.

Catherine Thompson had finished her barley and rape at Holme House, Holme on Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, and was waiting to get started on the oats.

“We like to get the oats before the wheat so we’ve sprayed them with roundup but it’s probably washed off,” she said.

In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Robert Craig had finished his winter barley on Saturday (9 August), combining at 20% moisture.

The 50ha (125 acres) of Saffron yielded slightly above average at 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre), he said. “Locally there’s still 25-30% of winter barley to cut – and about 50% of the oilseed rape to do.”

Rape was ready to cut at Sandy Alison’s Turnhouse Farm, Edinburgh, but heavy rain was preventing any combining today. “The rape has been ready to cut since Friday – since then we’ve had two inches of rain,” he said.

So far he had recorded 130 mm of rain since the beginning of August – more than double the month’s average of 50-60mm.

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