Rain slowed the final stages of harvest in parts of north east England, while in Scotland harvest remains in full swing.
Yorkshire agronomist Andy Wells says: “It has been hard to chase down the last few acres of wheat – the humidity has been high, which has not helped in bringing moistures down, so it has been a bit of a struggle getting to the finish line.
“A few people have gone into spring beans, but they are not harvesting at 15 per cent – it is usually 16-17 per cent, but they are taking the opportunity to get them into a shed and doing some drying there.”
Lincolnshire grower Alex Godfrey says his harvest has been very much a stop-start affair.
We made a very good beginning to the harvest season but the rain has caught up with us and we still have a little bit of wheat left to go, although we have just finished spring barley.
“Yields are below average all round. We have suffered in common with everybody else on winter barley bushel weights, but the rest were satisfactory.”
In Scotland, the weather has also challenged crop yields. Ayrshire grower Andrew Glover says: “It has been a bad year for harvest, it has gone from wet to blowing a gale.
“We are cutting spring barley and even with the baler right behind the combine the straw is going all over the place, but we had to go in because the ground is very tender and it would not take much more rain to stop us again.”
Mr Glover describes the wheat harvest as a ‘mixed bag’ averaging 5.6 tonnes/hectare (2.25t/acre) with bushel weights ranging from 72-74kg/hl.
While some of the drier land ‘died on its feet’ yielding only 5t/ha (2t/acre), heavier land yielded nearer 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), he says.
Kelso grower David Fuller-Shapcott says his first wheats were ‘okay’, at 11-12t/ha (4.4-4.8t/acre) but second wheats were down at 8.5-9t/ha (3.4-3.6t/acre).
“The oilseed rape crop was the worst we have ever had – very disappointing,” says Mr Fuller-Shapcott, with much of the crop yielding less than 1t/ha (0.4t/acre).
Despite growers reporting below average yields, AHDB results from sites in Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Hampshire and Fife show average winter wheat yields stand at 10.76t/ha (4.35t/acre), just above the five-year average of 10.63t/ha (4.3t/acre).
According to AHDB, Group 4 hard feed varieties lead the way on outright yield, with Belgrade currently topping the yields at 107 per cent and Graham close behind on 105 per cent.
For more information on AHDB RL results, visit cereals.ahdb.org.uk/harvestresults