Farmers have cut about 5% of the winter barley area, and yields range from 4t/ha to 9.8t/ha (1.6-4t/acre), according to the HGCA.


Harvest progress was behind the five-year average, due to the unsettled weather, and most progress had been made in the south-east, where almost 45% of the crop had been cut, according to the HGCA’s first harvest report.

“Yields are variable and unlikely to be representative of the national crop, given that many of the earliest crops are on lighter land in the regions most affected by the dry spring.”

Early samples were showing good specific weights, at 64-69kg/hl, but nitrogen contents were high, as were screenings.

About 2% of the oilseed rape crop had been harvested, and many fields were ready to be cut once the weather dried out, said the report.

“The cool, overcast conditions over the last couple of weeks have meant that swathed crops have been slow to dry out.”

Yields were variable, ranging from 2.5t/ha to 4.9t/ha (1-1.8t/acre), dependent on soil type and rainfall.

Farmers were likely to start combining winter wheat and spring barley in about two weeks, with the earliest of the light land crops now in the ripening phase.

“However, many heavy land crops and those further north are still some way from harvest.

“Rainfall in June has caused an increase in secondary tillers that may make harvest more difficult if the crop is not desiccated.”

Straw yields were likely to be poor due to the dry spring, it added. “In livestock areas the demand for bedding is such that farmers with oilseed rape are also baling the straw.”