West Country struggling on

Harvest in Somerset has progressed reasonably well, but farmers in Devon and Cornwall are struggling with another wet harvest.

Ian Eastwood, marketing manager at West Country Grain, said producers in Somerset had only 25% of their wheat left to cut, followed by beans.

“But it is not such a rosy picture in Devon and Cornwall – it’s starting to get a bit behind now.”

Harvest there was between 25% and 75% through. “Some people have just cracked on in all weather, while others have left it, and perhaps regret that now.”

Conditions were becoming soggy underfoot, he added.

“Yields are better than anticipated, but expectations were not high. Quality is good so far – at Kernow Grain in Cornwall the wheat, barley and oats were exceptional before this week’s rain.

“We have got a reasonable chunk in at very good quality.”

Oilseed rape yields had been good, and barley was generally pleasing. “We had the odd exceptional yield on higher ground.

“Early reports on spring barley are quite good too – but there is still quite a bit to cut.

“We have seen some very nice green peas before the rain, but early indications on beans are a little disappointing. There are still quite a lot left out in the field.”

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