While some might describe this seasons harvest as lacklustre, there are signs of improvement with more recent reports of above average yields and quality.
Poor bushel weights have been a major concern this harvest, however Cambridgeshire grower, Robert Law reported an average bushel weight of 69kg/hl in his crop of winter barley, with a respectable yield to match.
He says: “We’ve cut all our winter barley. It is 69 bushel weight and has yielded between 7.8 and 9.2 t/ha so I’m reasonably happy.
“For many people in this area, barley has been down on yield and quality and they’ve struggled to do 60kg on bushel weight.”
Essex grower, Nigel Cutmore is also pleased with his crop of Barbados oilseed rape (OSR) which yielded around 4.7 t/ha despite suffering from cabbage stem flea beetle attack post-sowing.
He says: “We were a little later than most of my neighbours to get started and with reports of crops struggling to make 3.7t/ha, I had my concerns.
Although wheat harvest has been delayed in some regions due to intermittent rainfall and late ripening, those that have begun harvesting the crop are reporting decent quality and yield.
As one of the first to delve into winter wheat, Essex grower and NFU vice president, Guy Smith was pleased with his first wheat sample.
“We cut some Skyfall on July 27 which was 15 per cent moisture. Yields were 10 to 20 per cent above average.
“I am very pleased with that but the downside is the extra yield has diluted the protein to 12 per cent. It was nice and bold with a bushel weight around 80kg.”
In Hampshire, David Edgar claims his crop of Santiago was ‘better than expected’, yielding around 9.1t/ha (3.6t/acre) considering barley harvested the same week struggled to reach 6.0t/ha (2.4t/acre).
Not expecting bushel weight problems with Propino Spring barley. At least something has enjoyed this weather. pic.twitter.com/QusYR8tala— Matt Attwood (@23mattwood08)
“9.1t/ha for wheat is definitely more like our farm average. I wish I could say this about our barley which reminded me more of the way crops looked in 2012,” says Mr Edgar.