We started harvest early last week – a half section of 6-row legacy barley that was the first field we planted in the spring. It was one of the drier areas all through the growing season with less than 3 inches (75mm). We were pleasantly surprised- admittedly we had low expectations but the yield, although still well below our long term average, was decent and almost as important the quality was very good. For barley you want a heavier seed and plump kernel for malt purposes.
After that half section we didn’t have anything else that was ready – and then we got more rain. We have had almost as much rain in the last 2 weeks as we did through the growing season in some parts of our farm. It is getting to a point where rain no longer has much of a benefit for the 2023 crop – and going forward will start to impact the quality (especially barley, where the moisture starts the germination process while still in the field in the seed and makes it less desirable for the malt industry) – although it is nice to see moisture fall, but now we will be happier to see it once we are finished harvest.
This next week will be a mix of harvesting and waiting – some fields are ready but most is still going to need some time before it is mature enough to harvest.