UK: Early harvest results

FWi -- Combines are continuing to dodge the showers, with some exciting early wheat yields produced in Lincolnshire.

Alan Hind’s Zebedee winter wheat was yielding fantastically well at Elm Tree Farm, near Grantham, averaging 11.7t/ha (4.75t/acre). “We can’t believe it – that’s a tonne an acre more than I ever could have hoped,” he said.

Combining of the second wheat only started on Monday (4 August), after some excellent rape and barley crops. “It just looks like a good corn year.”

In Pembrokeshire, Wales, Meurig Raymond hoped to finish his oilseed rape before the rain arrived. Yields had been disappointing, averaging 3.7-4.5t/ha (1.5-1.8t/acre), he said.

However, winter barley was yielding 5% above average, with Flagon and Suzuka coming in at 8t/ha (3.3t/acre).

Rain had stopped play at Duncan Whiteman’s Arlescott Farm, Telford, Shropshire, and combine breakdowns had added to the delays.

However, all the Camion winter barley was in the barn, yielding about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) – slightly better than average. The Castille rape was only just fit, having taken a long time to ripen. “It’s at least a week behind normal,” he said.

In Surrey, Giles Porter was finding time for a quiet beer on Tuesday evening (5 August), having almost finished the winter barley and rape before the rain.

“The rape has been pleasantly surprising – it didn’t look very good all year with pigeon and slug damage,” he said. The Castille and Expert averaged 3.7t/ha (1.5t/ac), with winter barley also doing well at 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre).

“We’ll probably be straight into the spring barley and wheat as soon as the weather dries up – it’s turning all the time and is all still standing.”