Harvest latest: Quality worries persist

29 August 2001

Harvest latest: Quality worries persist

By Tom Hood

As harvest draws to a close in many parts, more variance in quality and yield becomes apparent.

Robert Bower, near Worksop, told Farmers Weekly on Wednesday 29 August he has finished harvest and John Wilcox near Stafford expects to finish winter wheat today.

East Yorkshire farmer Richard Harrison says that wheat could be finished by the weekend on his farm at Kilham near Driffield.

Revesby Farms in Lincolnshire have done three quarters of their wheat harvest and expect a finish by the weekend. Manager Bob Sheriff says:

“Napier first wheat has been very pleasing. It has averaged between 4-4.5t/acre (10-11t/ha), with one yielding 5t/acre (12.3t/ha).”

Wiltshire Grains Nick Brown reports varied quality in wheat and spring barley.

“Wheat has been dogged this year by low bushel weights, and the high yielding chalk land has driven protein down.” Hagberg has started to fall.

Problems with spring barley are emerging: “Early crops which have not been combined yet are showing signs of pre-germination.”

Stephen Howlett of BDR in Norfolk says, “the early spring barley crop was good quality, but now its suspect. Were now seeing splitting and skinning problems.”

Somerset Farmer Archie Montgomery has reported poor wheat yields on medium soil. He now has only spring wheat to combine.

“The wheat has barely done 3t/acre (7.5t/ha), while normally we would expect 3.5-4t/acre (8.6-10t/ha).”

Farming on the Welsh border Glynn Jones reports increased yields on his spring barley, wheat and oat crops.

“We used satellite mapping in some of the fields last year and I think that has helped improved yield, as well as management and agronomy.”

About 25% of the spring barley crop has been combined in the Scottish Borders according to Jim Lofthouse of Eildon Grain

“There is higher nitrogen. Weve seen nothing below 1.65%, which is standard top malting quality. There are also some split grains.”

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