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As winter barley harvest storms ahead thanks to the heat wave, farmers across the country are seeing varied yields and quality.
Somerset farmer Jeremy Walker said harvest was going very well, despite being very dry, with winter barely yields above last year at an estimated 8.6t/ha. He was also very pleased with bushel weights of 72kg/hl, which were also higher than last year.
Graham Bunn in Norfolk said harvest was going very well, although Pearl winter barley was yielding lower than last year at 7.6t/ha. He was pleased with bushel weights of 68kg/hl and moisture levels of 14.4%, but concerned with nitrogen levels of 1.75 – 1.9%.
Cornwall farmer Charlie Watson-Smyth said he was in the “driest spot in Cornwall” which meant bushel weights were not as good as last year. The Antonia winter barley yielded 5.6t/ha, which was 1.25t/ha down on last year.
By comparison, Tom Coleman in Hampshire said Flagon winter barley had yielded slightly higher than expected at 7.9t/ha. He hoped the crop would meet malting quality.
But as temperatures continue to rise there is increasing concern for the wheat harvest. Ian Gaunt in Norfolk said: “Considering in early May we thought the wheat would be a week late, and now it is going to be a week early, we have lost two weeks growing somewhere.”
Find out how Farmers Weekly’s barometer growers are getting on with harvest in our new Barometers’ Blog
See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.