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While winter barley growers in Scotland are making good harvest progress, those south of the border have almost finished and many are into wheat, according to reports today.

No real problems have been seen in the winter barley crop, said Grainfarmers’ malting barley trader, Nick Coe. “We’ve seen quite a bit of the crop now, and I’d say that 55% of it is pretty good on a basis of 1.75 grain nitrogen.”

But many are finding oilseed rape slower going, as some crops are not yet ripe enough and hot weather is preventing combining during the middle of the day, noted the firm’s Justin Reynolds.

Peter Seaman in Norfolk reflected this. He has finished his Maris Otter winter barley, which yielded an “average” 5.9-7.2t/ha (2.4-2.9t/acre). His only concern is for the oilseed rape.  “It is very dry, below 6%, so we are in need of rain. We attempted to lift some of the rape but it was too green.”

Winter barley did just over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) near Braintree in Essex, according to John Spackman. Harvest is going well in the dry weather and wheat has been started over two weeks ahead of normal, he said.

“Crops were still green last week and have just burnt off in the heat. There are some patches along tramlines and under hedges and trees that are still a bit green.”

Oilseed rape harvest is well underway for North Yorkshire farmer, Phil Dowson. Yields of his Lioness came in at 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre), with most crops at a moisture content of 8% and an average oil content of 46%.

Farmers weekly’s Barometer grower John Hutchinson near Dunfermline, Fife started Sequel and Amarena winter barley on Monday (24 July) in “perfect harvesting conditions”.

Yields are very pleasing and are expected to average around 9.2t/ha. Bushel weight is also surprisingly good at 68kg/hl for Sequel and 64kg/hl Amarena. Moisture contents have been unusually low at 14% in some loads, he said.

“We are now about two-thirds of our way through winter barley with oilseed rape likely to be ready early next week.”

See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.