Winter barley harvest is almost complete in England, but oilseed rape is making slower progress than expected, according to Grainfarmers

Over half of the oilseed rape area has been cut in the south east, but with some crops taking longer than thought to mature, progress has slowed in some regions, said the firm’s Justin Reynolds.

Hot weather has also prevented some cutting during the middle of the day, he said. He strongly advises growers to test loads regularly to avoid problems with hot grain and pointed out that Grainfarmers has introduced a charge for grain coming in over 25C.

In contrast, there were no real problems for the winter barley crop, said Grainfarmers’ malting barley trader, Nick Coe. “We’ve seen quite a bit of the crop now, and I’d say that 55% of it is pretty good on a basis of 1.75 grain nitrogen.”

He is also quietly confident about the prospects for spring barley. Samples of Optic and Cocktail from East Anglia are averaging 1.80 N and retentions seem to be low – under 85, he said.

Prices for oilseed rape and malting barley are relatively stable at present, with OSR ranging between £160-162 on-farm, winter barley £77-78/t and the spring crop £78-79/t on-farm.

It is thought that wheat yields will be something of a “mixed bag” after some parts were burned off, while others on heavier land that received localised rain may still be reasonably good.