East Anglian-based growers are expecting to begin harvesting winter barley in about a week’s time, which will be a similar calendar date to last year, despite high rainfall in June.
Speaking on Monday, Suffolk-based Andrew Blenkiron, estate director at the Euston Estate, said hybrid seed barley he was growing for Syngenta was about 10 days away from harvest.
“We had 190ml of rain in June but sunshine is forecast this week. It is about the same as last year when we started around July 16. It will be in to August before oilseed rape is ready.”
Over in Essex, Dan Wormell, manager/partner at P R Wormell Farms, Colchester, said winter barley was turning quickly.
“There are a lot of variables – I guess we’ll be starting harvest in the next 10 days. Early rape should be ready in about two weeks.
“The weather looks more settled and we need the warm weather to ripen crops.”
Further south and west, in Dorset, harvest is probably two weeks away, according to Frontier agronomist Russell Dean.
"We have had some cold, wet weather recently and the moisture level of most barley grain is struggling to drop to 30 per cent. "Harvest will certainly be a week later than last year, realistically most people won’t have started until July 14.”