Farmers had cut 30% of winter barley and 20% of oilseed rape by the end of Tuesday (26 July) – about average for the time of year, according to the HGCA’s latest report.
“After a slow start due to unsettled weather and slow crop ripening, harvesting of winter barley and winter oilseed rape in the southern and central regions of England is now well underway,” it said.
A start had also been made on early winter wheat on light soils, and by Tuesday farmers had cut just under 20% of the arable area.
“Harvested moisture contents of winter barley ranged from 14-17% and oilseed rape from 6-12%, with those crops harvested most recently needing little if any drying.”
Winter barley yields were very variable, ranging from 4t to over 9t/ha (1.6-3.6t/acre), but were likely to be about 10% below the five-year average of 6.5t/ha (2.6t/acre), it added.
“Most specific weights are good at 64-69 kg/hl, however some malting grain nitrogen levels are above 1.7%. Screenings are quite variable ranging from 1-6%.”
Oilseed rape yields ranged from 2.5t to 5t/ha (1-2t/acre), but overall were about 10% above the five-year mean, at 3.3-37t/ha (1.3-1.5t/acre).
“Good progress is expected to be maintained, with settled weather continuing until at least the weekend.”