Harvest is now 90% complete across Great Britain, with rapid headway bringing progress slightly ahead of the five-year average of 87%.
According to the latest HGCA / ADAS report, farmers cut 435,000ha in the week to Tuesday (10 September), with spring cereals and rape yields better than normal, but winter wheat and winter rape below the five-year mean.
“It is estimated that there are approximately 420,000 ha of combinable crops left to harvest,” said the report. Most of these were in Scotland and the north of England.
“The main crops left are spring barley (33%), field beans (winter and spring, 24%), wheat (18%) and smaller areas of oats and spring break crops.”
Winter wheat harvest was 95% complete, and yields were slightly below the five-year average at 7.6-7.7t/ha – although the range was wide, from 2.5t to 13t/ha, said the report.
Quality was good, with an average specific weight of 76-78kg/hl, Hagberg of 347 seconds and protein of 12.9%, but variable.
Winter barley yields were estimated at 6.7-6.9t/ha, against a five-year mean of 6.4t/ha, with spring barley averaging 5.5-5.7t/ha versus an over-year mean of 5.3t/ha.
Oat yields were 0.2t/ha above average at about 5.8t/ha, with specific weights ranging from 4.3-54kg/hl.
Winter rape harvest was 98% complete, and yields were 0.2t/ha below average, at 3.3t/ha, within a range of 1.5t to 5.5t/ha.
“Winter rape yields should be treated with some caution as it is unclear just what proportion of farmers have reported yields from the area harvested, rather than the whole field,” said the report.
“This crop was particularly patchy, and as a result, the reporting of yields could have a significant impact on the final national yield figure.”
With a quarter of the spring rape crop now in the barn, early yield indications were good at about 2.3t/ha, it added.
“Heavier soils tended to yield better than drier soils as there was sufficient moisture at drilling to aid establishment.”