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A picture of potatoes growing

When you’re out and about enjoying the British countryside, you’ll notice all kinds of different things growing in farmers fields. Crops look different depending on several factors. These include the time of year, when they have been planted and what the weather has been like during the year.

What’s in my field?

Can you guess what is happening in these photos? We’ve given you a hint to get you going. Click on the image to reveal the answer.

This versatile vegetable is often enjoyed with fish on a Friday night

This is a field of potatoes. Potatoes are usually planted in the spring and harvested five months later, between July and October.

Potatoes are lifted (harvested) using a machine before being graded on quality and size.

Click here to meet Tim Papworth, a potato grower from Norfolk.

Rumour has it this vegetable will help you see in the dark…

Carrots are growing in this field.

Did you know that carrots are Britain’s most grown root vegetable, with British farmers producing over 700,000 tones of carrots each year.

Using the different climates across the UK carrots are harvested all year round.

The leaves from this crop come in all kinds of shapes and colours

These colourful stripes are salad leaves.

Salad leaves are well suited to being grown in the UK thanks to the relatively even climate. During the warmer months, the leaves can grow in just eight weeks.

Did you know, leaves are picked, packed and on the supermarket shelves within as little as 24 hours.

Once harvested, the seeds from this crop are crushed to make oil

This is a field of rapeseed, taken during late spring. Rapeseed is planted around August time, and takes 11 months to reach maturity. It tends to flower in May each year, often marking the start of the summer months. The flowers then drop off and the rapeseed turns to a light brown colour.

Find out more about rapeseed here.

You might enjoy a bowl of this for your breakfast

This is a field of wheat.

Wheat tends to be harvested in July and August. It is the most widely grown arable crop in the UK producing 16.2 million tonnes each year.

Wheat is ground into flour, which you will find in a huge range of food, from bread and cakes to biscuits and breakfast cereals.

Learn more about the UK arable sector.

A key ingredient in a pint of your favourite beer

This is barley.

Although barley and wheat look similar, barley has longer ‘whiskers’ called awns.

British barley growers produce around 8 million tonnes of barley, which is a key ingredient in beer and whisky, as well as the raw ingredient of malt vinegar.

Not many realise we grow this sweet treat here in the UK

This is sugar beet, which is mostly found in the east of England.

Sugar beet is the UK-grown crop that sucrose (what you see in your sugar bowl) is extracted from.

Find out more about how sugar is produced here, and don’t forget to look for Silver Spoon sugar next time you’re in the shop.

Best enjoyed with a slice of tasty British beef

This is a field of mustard.

When in flower, you’ll see a sea of vibrant yellow petals. The seeds are harvested at the end of July, and are then air blown and dried to keep them in perfect condition before they’re cleaned.

Meet Michael Sly, a mustard seed grower and supplier of Colmans.

What machine is that?

This large bit of kit is mostly seen out in the fields during August and September to bring in the crops

This is a combine harvester. It is a modern machine which is used to efficiently harvest a variety of arable crops.

As the combine moves, the header (the front part) gathers the crop and cuts the stems at their base. The cut crops then move up a conveyor belt into the combine where they are then shaken to separate the grain from the unwanted chaff and stalks. The grain falls into a tank where it can then be fired out the arm of the combine into a trailer pulled by a tractor.

This machine helps to collect hay and straw for animal feed and bedding

This is a baler, a piece of farm machinery used to make hay and straw into compact bales. It picks the hay or straw off the ground (which has been left behind by the combine) and feeds it into the bale chamber.

It is then wrapped around itself inside the chamber before being wrapped with either netting or baling twine to keep it together. The bale is then dropped out of the back of the baler as the next bale starts to be collected.

This harvester plays a key roll in bringing in the harvest, which can be found in Silver Spoon bags

A beet harvester is used to harvest sugar beet.

The beet harvester lifts the root and removes the leaves. Spinning disks remove the soil from the beet which is then transported through the machine and goes onto an elevator which lifts them up in to the holding tank ready to go into a trailer.

Find out more about how sugar beet is grown from farmer Kit Papworth.

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