Wheat yields in the South West are exceeding expectations, and quality so far is excellent, according to Ian Eastwood at West Country Grain.
“The bushelweights are fantastic, and the bulk of the milling wheat is safely in the bin, with Group One varieties at about 80kg/hl, 13% protein and comfortably over 250 Hagberg.
“Yields are better than expected, although they are not going to be barn busting records.”
Harvest was about halfway through in Somerset and Devon, with oilseed rape and winter barley almost complete. Further west, less wheat had been cut, but rapeseed and barley was mostly in the barn.
“Rapeseed yields have been fantastic, while barley has just been okay.”
Spring barley looked promising, although there were some green grains in some samples, he added. “That is manageable, as long as it’s a low percentage.
“But it’s difficult to know what this drizzly rain is going to do to quality now.”
Wheat bushelweights had already fallen since last week’s rain. “We were intaking at 80-82.5kg/hl at Cannington – after a weekend’s rain the same fields had dropped to 79-80kg/hl, and I’m anticipating that will fall to 75-76kg/hl after this bout.”
Early wheat had averaged about 16% moisture, with later cut crops coming in at 16-17%, said Mr Eastwood.
“We haven’t seen any of the really wet stuff that we’ve seen in the past two or three years – but it’s still early days.”