Continuing hot and dry weather across most of Europe is still raising concerns for the quality and yields of the grain crop.

Strategie Grains is reporting French wheat yields close to last year at 7t/ha, with about 50% of the wheat crop harvested.

The ministry has estimated the wheat crop 1.4% above last year at 35.3m tonnes.

But this could fall as the harvest gets under way in northern regions, which are still vulnerable to the heat.

With most of the German winter barley harvest complete, yields are reportedly almost 10% lower than last year’s 6.6t/ha.

The wheat and spring barley harvests are now under way.

In Sweden, Lantmannen reports a potential fall in its crop estimate of 10-15% due to the heat.

Last year Sweden harvested 2.2m tonnes of wheat and 1.6m tonnes of barley.

In Hungary, the weather has helped the crop, with average wheat yields about 4.2-4.4t/ha (4.5t/ha in 2005).

More than half the wheat crop has been cut, of which 60-70% is reportedly of milling quality.

About 95% of the winter barley is cut and yields are close to last year at about 4.4t/ha.

By contrast, the Polish ministry reports the grain crop could be 20% below last year’s 4m tonnes of wheat, 2m tonnes of maize and 1.1m tonnes of barley.

The Czech statistics office estimates grain production at 6.3m tonnes, almost 10% below 2005.

The UK harvest is progressing well, although the heatwave is continuing to raise concerns.

ADAS reports that 45% of the barley has been cut.

Winter barley yields are reportedly about 6.7t/ha so far (6.5t/ha last year).

Wheat harvest has barely begun, but it is thought the heat could result in yields falling by up to 0.5t/ha.

fwarable@rbi.co.uk