After a challenging season weather-wise, the first combines are getting to work in the south and east of the country.
Winter barley harvest in Letchworth, Hertfordshire commenced today (July 6) for grower and contractor, Peter Allen, around a week earlier than normal.
The crop of direct drilled Craft winter barley yielded around 7.5 tonnes per hectare at 14.6 per cent moisture.
Mr Allen says: “For the given season I am quite pleased. All the crops sat in very wet conditions all winter, had a very late spring and it stayed wet for a long time. When it did dry up, we had no rain for months, so April and May were dry as a bone.
“All things considered, and the fact it is not on the strongest of ground I am pleased.”
Despite the challenging weather conditions, Mr Allen, whose base is in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, managed to get around 85 per cent of intended crops in across 1200ha of ground. He puts this down to having the flexibility of a variety of different drill options.
At Burden Bros in Kent, oilseed rape harvest kicked off this morning.
Ryan McCormack, farm manager, says: “Yield is a little early to say but it is looking at around 3.5t/ha at 7 per cent moisture and 43-44 per cent oil content.”