Another wet weekend has further hampered efforts to gather remaining crops in Scotland and parts of England and Wales.
What had looked to be a promising harvest had turned out to be the worst ever for John Hutcheson at Leckerstone Farm, Dunfermline, Fife, with some crops likely to be abandoned.
“It’s not going well at all – it’s even worse than 2008,” he said.
“It’s been a real struggle – we’ve cut no wheat under 20% moisture, and plenty at 25% or higher, which causes all sorts of problems with the machinery.”
The wet harvest had knocked Hagberg numbers in wheat, but farmers in Yorkshire had virtually finished harvest, according to David Padgett at Argrain.
“It’s all done apart from a few spring beans,” he said.
“The Hagbergs in the later cut wheat have gone, but the specific weights have been alright, and yields have been good on heavy bodied soil around the Vale of York.”
In Tyne & Wear, Geoff Alderslade was getting on well with drilling at West Fellgate Farm, Wardley, having finished a very variable harvest.
Early wheats yielded close to 10t/ha (4t/acre), with later drilled crops down to 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre).
“We’ve got all the oilseed rape and first wheats drilled, plus some second wheats – and we’re now preparing the ground for barley,” he said.
In Oxfordshire, the harvest at Leadenporch Farm, Dedington, was better than farm manager Lionel Wells could ever have expected.
First, second and continuous wheats averaged 9.6t/ha (3.9t/acre) across the whole farm.
“The first wheats were way better than the second wheats – but the second wheats yielded the same as we would normally expect from the first wheats, so we can’t complain.”
On the international scene, Strategie Grains had cut its estimate of EU soft wheat production by 200,000t, to 129m tonnes, with milling wheat quality also down.
“Heavy rain has affected both the quality and quantity of crops in Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, resulting in a 3.1m tonne drop in the estimate for milling wheat production, to 83.5m tonnes,” said David Sheppard, managing director at Gleadell Agriculture.