Wheat and potato harvest at standstill in Shropshire

Rain this morning (September 5) and two days ago meant the combine hadn’t been out much this week at Sandy Walker’s Ercall Park Farm, Telford, Shropshire.

Wheat and spring barley yields were down about 1-2t/ha (0.4-0.8t/acre), and he still had 48ha (120 acres) of Alchemy and Gladiator wheat and 32ha (80 acres) of Doyen spring barley to cut.

“The yields are nothing fantastic, particularly on the light land, but the prices will make up for that – I was offered £190/t for December this morning,” said Mr Walker.

Potato lifting had stopped for a couple of weeks, having cleared up the contracted Maris Piper and Marfona for packing. Yields were good except where the crop had been flooded, and Mr Walker expected overall yields to be about average.

“Quality suffered a lot on the packing front but it’s been fine for processing.”

He expected to begin lifting the 61ha (150 acres) of maincrop varieties next week, after finishing combining cereals and drilling oilseed rape and wheat. “I’m still waiting for set skin which is probably the longest I’ve ever had to wait for it.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Alchemy and Gladiator
Area: 48ha (120 acres) to cut

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Doyen
Area: 32ha (80 acres) to cut

Crop: Maincrop potatoes
Area: 61ha (150 acres) to lift

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