8 August 1997


HEAVY rain continues to frustrate harvesting, and growers are concerned about shedding and deteriorating quality in lodged crops, especially oats.

Many farmers still have some winter barley to cut. Most report reasonable yields of about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), low moistures, and specific weights of 66-67kg/hl. But high nitrogen samples of winter malting barley and split grains are common, says Kim Welles of Acorn Arable, Droitwich, Cheshire.

In west Wales 80% of winter oilseed rape is still in swaths, but further east crops have been harvested and yields of about 4.4t/ha (36cwt/acre) recorded.

Half of the 113ha (280 acres) of winter wheat grown by barometer growers Andrew and Tony Symonds at Stourport on Severn, Worcester, was ready on Monday, but 2mm of rain kept the combine in the shed. "Fortunately Brigadier and Reaper look very good and have stood up well, so harvesting should not be a problem," says Tony Symonds.

At Penmark Place, near Barry, Glamorgan, Andrew and Julian Ratcliffe managed to pick up winter oilseed rape before the rain. Quality was good and yield pleased at 3.7t/ha (30cwt/acre).

At the start of the week most of Pembrokeshire grower Meurig Raymonds oilseed rape was still lying in the swath after two weeks. The small amounts of Capitol, Apex and Synergy that he managed to combine yielded a satisfying 4.32 t/ha (35cwt/acre).

Oliver winter linseeds output of 1.5t/ha (12cwt/acre) disap-pointed Shropshire grower Andrew Lewis at Raby Farms Grange Farm, Uppington, near Telford. The desiccated crop came in at 11% moisture.

At about 5t/ha, Lantra peas for micronising are yielding about the same as last year, but the colour is much better, reports Rod Frost, manager at Burrows Hill Farm, Chatteris, Cambs.

See more