Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Suffolk: Bertha sparks harvest fears

10:39 09 August 2014

Harvest in Suffolk and Essex

Harvest in Suffolk and Essex


The potential arrival of heavy rain and strong winds could hamper Suffolk’s harvest, farming leaders have said.


Although meteorologists have said Saturday will be a mixture of sunshine and blustery showers there’s a risk of further heavy rain and strong winds on Sunday if the remains of Hurricane Bertha develop into a deep Atlantic low pressure system and heads towards the UK.

Robert Baker, of Crossways Farm, Elmswell, said he was watching weather forecasts with concern, but added he was thankful that the recent warm, dry spell meant many farmers had already harvested a significant amount of crops.

“It’s going very well, we’re probably 90% through our harvest which is great. We’ve just got a bit of wheat and spring barley left and then we’re finished. It’s been a very good run. We’re 10 days earlier than usual.”

Mr Baker said: “If we get the high winds and heavy rain and the hail it will cause some problems.

“I would be particularly worried for the spring barley, but at the moment, they (forecasters) are undecided about how bad it is going to be.

“But obviously the situation we’re in now is a lot better than if we had got 100% of the harvest sitting out there.”

Brian Finnerty, of the National Farmers Union, said: “We can say in general terms that the harvest has been progressing well in really good weather conditions. People have made good progress – some farmers have had their earliest harvest in recent memory.

“But the concern would be if you get hail storms and freak weather conditions that could cause damage to crops.

“Some of the farmers I have been speaking to had been working really long hours and were actually welcoming a bit of a downpour as it gave them a bit of a respite.

“Also people are starting to prepare ground and putting new crops in and some rain is useful to start things going.”

The Met Office said yesterday that the stormy weather system was hard to predict. A spokesman added: “The remains of Hurricane Bertha, over the western side of the Atlantic on Thursday morning, will come steadily towards the UK. The transition from a tropical to an extra-tropical feature is a particularly hard one to forecast with confidence, and computer models continue to differ in the location and intensity of the resulting depression, which is expected to pass over, or close to, the UK from early on Sunday.

“There is the potential for widespread rainfall totals of more than 50mm and coastal gusts of over 60mph, along with large waves. However, the system may pass harmlessly to the south of the country... and the public are advised to keep up to date with warnings.”

But Jim Bacon, from East Anglian-based Weatherquest, said it was unlikely the tail-end of the hurricane would affect the region, with heavy showers most likely tomorrow.

He said: “This has long since been a threat; we’re not even naming it on the charts. It’s a load coming across the Atlantic with warm moist air.

“We’re just treating it like an area of low pressure with very warm moist air.

“Then there’s where the track takes it. At the moment the track will take the heaviest rain to the north and west of us and in the east we’ll get a period of rain.”



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The fire service cordons off an area near Marks and Spencer on Westgate Street where UK Power Networks works to find a gas leak.

A shop in Ipswich high street has been evacuated as carbon monoxide has been detected in the basement.

Artist's impression of the homes there were proposed for lane close to Poplar Lane, Sproughton.

Babergh district councillors last night said they had voted against officers’ advice and refused a 475-home development on the edge of Ipswich because its design was “appalling”.

Police at the scene of the alleged robbery

A 25-year-old man from south London who was arrested following a robbery at a convenience store in Claydon has been charged.

Foundation Street, Ipswich, around a century ago. Little remains of the ancient buildings in this street. This photograph was taken from near the junction of Lower Brook Street.

Foundation Street is one of the oldest streets in Ipswich, connecting the port with the town centre. Buildings which had stood for centuries were demolished in the early 1960s in what was then seen as “improvements”.

Hawkedon Veterinary Surgery is sponsoring a bag dispenser and bags for dog walkers to pick up and dispose of dog’s mess in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Cllr Joanna Rayner and veterinary surgeon Rosina Page-Baker with Marley the dog.

A new initiative to reduce dog fouling in west Suffolk has seen dog bag dispensers installed at two popular parks.

Could the Crown car park be replaced by a prefab platform like this one at Manningtree?

Should Ipswich Borough Council spend £3million on doubling the size of the Crown Car Park – or go the whole hog and quadruple it at a cost of about £12m?

On going work at Ipswich Station

Work on a near-£2million refurbishment of Ipswich railway station has started – and is set to continue until August next year.

Nick Alexander, who died in the Bataclan massacre, in Paris, France. Photo: Foreign & Commonwealth Office/PA Wire.

The singer from the Eagles of Death Metal has paid tribute to Nick Alexander for his selflessness during the massacre at the Paris theatre where 89 people died almost two weeks ago.

Annual Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre

The annual Christmas Fayre will see around 120,000 people descend on Bury St Edmunds over four days.

Juliet Bellfield's charity committee has raised almost £1m for cancer care

Fellow fundraisers have paid tribute to the “inspirational” leadership of a Suffolk woman who helped generate almost £1million for cancer care.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24