Weather is a UK obsession, undoubtedly so this season for the farming fraternity in the north. After a fine, dry April when spring-sown cereals and potatoes went into superb seedbeds we reached autumn with very little sunshine throughout the middle of the year.
This has had a major impact on most crops. Winter barleys have in general been average although the newer hybrid six-rows such as Volume have performed well. Unfortunately the breeder has underestimated the demand and supplies of seed are extremely limited.
Winter oilseed rape has been the jewel in the crown with countless examples of whole-farm averages around the 5t/ha mark, some in excess of that. Growers have to snatch at spring barley or winter wheat fields with only the occasional dry day. Drying charges are going to be colossal.