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Regions farmers begin harvesting
THE good weather has provided the region’s crop growers with a much needed chance to begin harvesting, though farming unions say the wet start to the summer is still hampering some.
As the harvest of cereal crops gets under way, Rachel Gillbanks, NFU regional representative, said the idea that a week or two of sun would undo months of cold and rain was a “forlorn hope”.
She said: “I think there are still a few concerns over yields and quality of cereals like wheat and barley.
“There are concerns over fungal diseases too which have hit a number of farmers badly. They can come in quite quickly. I had a farmer who went away just for a week and his crop was fine, but the disease struck while he was away.”
Last month The Press reported on how potato farmers were being particularly hard hit by the months of rain and that some were “praying for sun” ahead of harvesting, which follows the gathering of cereal crops.
Owen Pearson, who grows seed potatoes on his farm at Huggate, said: “The worst thing is that the soil is saturated and, as with most plants, potatoes don’t grow very well in saturated soil. It’s been a cold spring and things are a long way behind.”
Miss Gillbanks said: “We don’t want it to be a whinge-fest, and the sun has helped some people, but we are still seeing a lot of water-logged ground which is difficult to get your machinery on.
“But obviously it’s good that the weather has given people a bit of a window to get some harvesting done.”
The dry weather is set to continue in our region today and tomorrow with showers appearing Friday and carrying on into the weekend.