Harvest roundup: Wednesday - Farmers Weekly

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Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Combines continue to press on ahead of forecast showers, with milling wheat quality under threat if wet weather persists.

For now, milling wheat quality looked promising, said Simon Ingle at Openfield, with high bushelweights and bold grains.

“There’s a wide variation in protein, but on average it is slightly above last year, at 13.1% compared to 12.9% last season.

“But Hagbergs are not awfully robust, at 270-280, and I don’t know if the crop is going to be very resilient to weathering if the weather does turn poor as forecast.”

In Essex, Andrew Kerr was combining wheat today (3 August) at New House Farm, North Weald, with very variable results.

“We’re about halfway through, and yields range from 6.2t/ha to 9.9t/ha (2.5-4t/acre), depending on whether they are second wheats or on lighter land.

“That’s slightly better than I’d expected, although we have got some worse stuff to come.”

Further north, David Richardson had returned to cutting oilseed rape after starting on winter wheat over the weekend at J. Porter & Son’s Barn Farm, Navenby, Lincolnshire.

“We cut a field of Vision rapeseed yesterday at 5.7t/ha (2.3t/acre) and another today at over 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre), but it was still a bit green so we’ve moved to a riper crop.”

Grafton second wheat had yielded a very pleasing 10t/ha (4t/acre), with a bushelweight of 81kg/hl and 3.1t/ha (1.25t/acre) of straw.

David Brightman was also combining wheat today at Gaydon Hill Farm, Gaydon, Warwickshire, and expected it to yield about average.

“I’ve been running around madly trying to get driers working,” he said. The Einstein was coming off at 19% moisture on the headlands and 13.5% in the middle of the field.

“I think second wheats will be about average, but the first wheats look pretty good.”

In Wiltshire, Stephen Moore had started combining spring barley at Manor Farm, Stapleford, and was pleasantly surprised at yields.

“It will be better than we thought, and the sample looks nice.” The Concerto would yield between 6.2t and 7.4t/ha (2.5-3t/acre), he said.

But the crop of the year would be oilseed rape, which averaged 5t/ha (2t/acre).  “We have never done anything close to that as an average, so we’re really pleased.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Damp conditions have brought combines to a halt in East Anglia today (27 July), but elsewhere harvest is making good progress.

In Norfolk, Matt Haddingham had been rained off near Bungay, but was pleased with oilseed rape yields so far.

He was employing a new combining tactic this year, using GPS on the combine to cut at a 30 degree angle across the tramlines.

“The crops flow through the combine better, and we pick up the tramlines better, instead of losing plants in front of the header.”

In Yorkshire, Chris Smith had finished combining winter barley for a customer near Easingworld, yesterday, and expected to start oilseed rape on Friday.

“The barley didn’t do very well at all. It was on light land and ranged from 0.3t/ha (0.1t/acre) to 10.2t/ha (4.1t/acre).”

Overall, the 80ha (200 acres) of Volume probably averaged just under 4t/ha (1.6t/acre), he said.

But barley was proving slow to ripen near St Asaph, North Wales, where Glynn Jones was cutting oilseed rape today, having pulled out of barley which was not quite fit.

So far he had cut Suzuka at his home farm, which yielded a pleasing 7.4t/ha (3t/acre).

The 8ha (20 acres) of Cubic oilseed rape cut today had also yielded well, at about 4.3t/ha (1.75t/acre).

Oilseed rape was yielding well across most of Europe, with hybrid crops outperforming traditional varieties, according to plant breeder Dekalb.

Farmers in France, Hungary and Nordic countries had cut about 80% of the rapeseed crop, with Bulgaria about 60% through, said Anne Williams, Dekalb’s West Europe OSR manager.

Harvest in Germany and the UK had been held up due to wet weather, with about 30% of the crops cut. “We should see the bulk of it off by the middle of next week.”

Harvest was off to a disastrous start for Richard Payne at Manor Farm, Heathfield, Somerset, but yields were relatively pleasing.

“I fell off the combine and broke my ribs on Monday, then I cut my hand badly yesterday, and my poor cocker spaniel puppy was run over at the weekend,” he said.

However, harvest itself was progressing well, with 40ha (100 acres) of Cabernet oilseed rape coming off at 4.4-5t/ha (1.8-2t/acre).

Rain was likely to spread into the North and North West of England tomorrow, said the Met Office. But brighter weather would then return for the rest of the week.

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Few combines have managed to turn a wheel this week, with rain holding up progress across the country.

In Norfolk, harvest started on 4 July for contractor Jason Armsby – but he hadn’t cut a thing since Friday (15 July).

The Pearl winter barley on light land didn’t yield very well, averaging about 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre). “One field would be 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) and the next would be less than 0.4t/ha (1t/acre). It just died off.”

Despite the rain, crops were not suffering, said Anthony Carr at Offord Hill Farm, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire.

His Cassia winter barley was not yet ready, while Carat, cut last week, performed well at 6.7-7.2t/ha (2.7-2.9t/acre).

“Considering we only had 11mm of rain from 1 March until the end of June, I am really pleased,” he said.

Yields were proving extremely variable in the Cambridgeshire area, where crops on light land had suffered in the drought, said Philip Darke at Camgrain.

Nitrogen contents had also been affected by yield, with lighter yielding crops presenting higher nitrogen levels. “Overall, nitrogen contents are probably at 1.9%, compared to 1.8% last year.

In Kent, winter barley had performed much better than expected at Peter Francesconi’s Dean Farm, Ashford.

“The best of it did over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), which is better than I’d ever dreamt.” However, the later crops did not look so good, he added.

Further west, farmers had made a start on winter barley and oilseed rape harvest, and yields were pleasing so far, said Nick Matthews at Wessex Grain.

Winter barley was yielding about 8-9t/ha (3.2-3.6t/acre), with oilseed rape at 4-4.5t/ha (1.6-1.8t/acre), he said.

“We’ve started reasonably well and are quietly confident that will continue.”

In Devon, harvest was tentatively underway, and was not particularly early, said Duncan Lyon at Devon Grain. 

“With the wet weather we’re having it could be a late harvest if anything.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Combines continue to make progress on light land across the country, with both yields and quality proving mixed.

Harvest progress was about average in the Cambridgeshire area, and quality so far looked pleasing, said Rob Munro, marketing director at Fengrain.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the barley, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

“Perhaps my expectations were so low, after such a dry spring, that it wouldn’t take much to exceed them.”

Yields were pleasantly surprising at GB Sewell & Partners’ Harcourt Farm, Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, where John Sewell started combining Carat winter barley on 26 June.

That yielded about 5t/ha (2t/acre) at 11-14% moisture, with later cut Cassia coming in at 6.2-7.4t/ha (2.5-3t/acre).

“We’re not going to see any record yields, but at the moment harvest is looking quite pleasing, although straw yields are very indifferent.”

In Suffolk, harvest was earlier than normal, and winter barley yields were below average so far, said John Humphreys at co-op AtlasFram.

“At the moment winter barley yields are on the low side at 3-5t/ha (1.2-2t/acre), with low bushelweights, as you would expect. But the better crops are yet to be cut.

Samples were similarly uninspiring in Kent, said Francesca Lewis at Weald Granary. “The germination is alright, but I’m not sure about the crop itself. The grain is very small and it’s not a brilliant sample.

“If the rain doesn’t hold off now, I just wonder if we’re going to get more problems with fusarium and mycotoxins.”

But in Somerset, barley samples were also looking good, said John Collins, store manager at Cannington Grain, Bridgwater.

“The crops are looking pretty good; if it carries on like this I think it will be quite a nice harvest.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Many farmers have now finished harvest in England, but those with crops left out are getting increasingly frustrated by wet weather.

In East Yorkshire, Peter Caley had finished harvest near Holderness, and was pleased with wheat yields.

Viscount, Robigus and Scout averaged 11t/ha (4.5t/acre) across the farm, but all came in between 15% and 20% moisture.

“Quality was pretty good too, with Robigus testing at 76.9kg/hl, 285 Hagberg and 12.36% protein,” he said.

Further north, a broken weighbridge was causing massive hold ups at Hamish Morison Farming Ltd, West Morriston, Berwickshire, but thankfully harvest was complete.

Wheat harvest was quite pleasing, yielding about the five-year average at 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre), said Les Anderson.

In Wales, harvest was progressing reasonably well at Paul Phillips’ Broniarth Farm, Newtown, Powys, but remaining crops would start to suffer if not cut soon.

“It’s too wet to get on today (8 September) – and the combine has broken down, so hopefully we’ll get that fixed for tomorrow.”

Winter wheat was holding up to the wet weather quite well, but Borwo triticale was a disaster, he said.

Tom Coleman had finished harvest at Lower Norton Farm, Winchester, Hampshire, and was pleased with above average yields.

“It was quite a battle with the weather, but we finished cutting at about 15% moisture, and we’ve got our oilseed rape drilled, so we’re feeling quite chuffed.”

But harvest had been a mixed bag at Roger Middleditch’s Prior Farm, Wrentham, Norfolk, with spring crops suffering badly in the drought.

“We managed to finish combining on Monday, but we drafted in some help – we had four combines going in the end.

“The spring crops on the light lands have been very disappointing, but winter barley was good and wheat on the better land was okay – it was all down to soil type.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Combines have been rolling on apace in the drier weather, and many farmers hope to finish harvest by the weekend.

Wheat harvest was about 70% complete across England by Tuesday (31 August), and Hagbergs had dropped sharply this week, said Openfield’s Mark Worrell.

“Wheat quality is a mixed bag – we are very happy with the quality pre-rain, but post-rain it is very variable, depending on location and variety.”

In Kent, harvest was about 80% complete, according to Weald Granary director John Smith.

“Most of the wheat is in.” Over the weekend Hagbergs had dropped slightly, with hard milling wheat holding up better than soft varieties, he said.

Jonathan Tipples had finished harvest at Reed Court Farm, Marden, Kent, and yields had been about average.

“We finished a week ago – we were combining at 19-20% moisture just to get it in the shed.”

The Einstein had averaged 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre). “The extraordinary thing is how close the second wheat yields were to the first.”

Spring barley quality was holding up well in Scotland, but yields were about 0.6t/ha (0.25t/acre) down, said Bruce Ferguson at Aberdeen Grain.

“This period of settled weather will make a huge difference to us – it will hopefully preserve the quality.

“A lot of the spring barley wasn’t ready up here, so it has been alright so far.”

In Gloucestershire, Ian Branstone was combining today at Bourton Hill Farm, Bourton-on-Water, but wheat quality had deteriorated.

“Yields have been massively inconsistent – in this one field the meter is ranging from 11t/ha (4.5t/acre) to 6t/ha (2.4t/acre), where it is heavy at the bottom and brashy on the top of the hill.”

Beans in the southern half of England had been badly affected by Bruchid beetle, but those in the North and Scotland should be better off, said Salvador Potter at the Processors and Growers Research Organisation.

Crops in the South had up to 50% infestation, with an average of 20-30% damage. But cooler weather further north meant later crops should be better quality.

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Heavy rain again today has extended harvesting delays across much of the country, but concerns over quality are yet to be borne out.

Harvest was going very slowly in Shropshire and the west midlands, with just 30% of the wheat cut so far.

However, crops were only just ripe, so were not at risk of losing Hagbergs yet, said Julian Walker at Shropshire Grain.

“It’s not coming to any harm yet – and the forecast is good for the weekend. It could be a very different picture this time next week.”

Ian Green had not combined since Sunday night (22 August) at Corskie Farm, Garmouth, Morayshire.

“The quality has been absolutely excellent so far, but we need the weather to get it harvested – I’m a little bit concerned that we’re going to start seeing pre-germination and splits.”

Harvest progress was ahead of last year at Sentry Farming, covering from Scotland to Dorset and much of East Anglia.

As of 20 August harvest was 54% complete, compared to 50% by the same date last year, said John Barrett at Sentry Farming in Norfolk.

“Yields on most crops are down across the board – peas are the only crop that are yielding better than budgeted.”

Harvest in Somerset had progressed reasonably well, but farmers in Devon and Cornwall were struggling with another wet harvest.

Ian Eastwood, marketing manager at West Country Grain, said producers in Somerset had only 25% of their wheat left to cut, followed by beans.

But in Devon and Cornwall harvest was 25% to 75% through. “Some people have just cracked on in all weather, while others have left it, and perhaps regret that now.”

Those in East Lincolnshire had not combined for the past 10 days, according to independent agronomist Bridget Carroll.

“The yields are fantastic – we just can’t get at them. No-one has reported any sprouting but it is warm and wet so I would imagine there will be some.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Harvest continues to make slow progress between the showers, and some wheat crops are starting to show signs of sprouting.

In Norfolk, John Kisby was half way through wheat at Cherry Tree Farm, Ten Mile Bank, and yields were similar to last year.

“The hot summer seems to have suit the fen – last year we did 10.4t/ha (4.2t/acre) and yields this year are about the same, possibly a fraction up.

“But it’s been an expensive harvest – we have had to dry every grain of wheat, which has been coming in at 17-23% moisture.”

Spring barley was underway at Clive Tory’s South Farm, Spetisbury, Dorset, and he was now concerned about the wet weather.

“The Quench looks bold and is the right colour, but I am worried what’s going to happen with this rain – I don’t want it to start brackling over.”

In Berkshire, Charlie Edgley was just over half way through harvest at Kensham Farm, Cadmore End, and yields were very disappointing.

“It has been a bit of a nightmare getting it between the showers.”

The continuous Soissons, Cordiale, Solstice and Gallant wheat had averaged just 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre). “That is 0.5-0.75t/acre (1.2-1.9t/ha) off what I was expecting.”

But in Yorkshire Caley Sackur was making good progress between the showers at Lodge Farm, Tibthorpe, and was a third of the way through his wheat.

“We’re getting on really well and the yields are pretty reasonable, too. I don’t think the weather has affected the quality yet – it is still a good colour.”

However, elsewhere some crops were more than ready to cut, and the first cases of pre-harvest sprouting had been reported, according independent adviser NIAB TAG.

“The forecast for this weather to continue is not good news for growers, who will experience further delays,” said consultant David Parish.

He advised growers to prioritise crops. “Bring in the milling and quality wheat first and concentrate on those varieties that are susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting.”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Heavy rain yesterday (10 August) has brought combines to a halt across much of England, but harvest continues to progress reasonably well.

Andrew Kerr measured 23mm of rain yesterday at New House Farm, North Weald, Essex.

“The biggest worry is that we’ve got 100 acres (40ha) of straw lying out in the swath which the contractors now can’t get to – it’s holding up fieldwork operations.”

Fortunately, Mr Kerr had cut all of his winter wheat before the rain. “Yields were not fantastic – the best was Solstice first wheat at 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) – the worst struggled to make 7.4t/ha (3t/acre). It was very much dependent on the soil type.”

Harvest was progressing reasonably well for contractor Troy Stuart at Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon, despite frequent showers.

“All things considered it hasn’t been too bad – compared to the past three years we’re well ahead.”

Oilseed rape was taking a long time to die off, so Mr Stuart had cut some wheat in between early and later rape varieties.

In Northern Ireland, Mark McFerran had finished harvest at Battletown Farm, Newtonards, Co. Down, having put all the arable land down to winter barley.

“The moisture content wasn’t what we wanted, but the crop was ripe and we didn’t want to chance leaving it, and then potentially losing it.”

Overall, the barley averaged 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre), equivalent to about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) after drying. “We were quite pleased – that is slightly above our usual average.”

Carl Tuer had also finished combining winter barley at Rock Farms, Alnwick, Northumberland, and was very optimistic about this year’s crops.

“The weather has been spot on, and the potential that we’ve got in the ground is the best I’ve seen for six years.”

Soil type and local rainfall had been the key drivers of yields this year, with variety choice playing a far lesser role, according to Masstock agronomist David Neale.

“The crops have been very variable – we’ve had some superb yields and some truly awful yields. Overall, I’m expecting the wheat crop to be down about 10%.”

With sharply better grain prices farmers had been selling grain both for this harvest and the coming two years. “It is such an opportunity, it shouldn’t be missed.

“But end users have not bought much for this harvest, so it will be important to keep in regular contact with your grain buyer to ensure you get movement when you want it.”

Don’t forget – you can text us about yourharvest progress on 07537 402 287. Start your message with“fwharvest”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Widespread showers have dragged harvest to a stop across parts of the country today (4 August) – but some people have managed to avoid the rain and continue combining.

Andrew Cragg was lucky to dodge the showers to start combining winter wheat at Brooker Farm, Romney Marsh, Kent, today.

So far the Cordiale was yielding well at around 11t/ha (4.5t/acre) as a second wheat – much on a par with last year.

Oilseed rape performed well for the second year running, with Cabernet topping the list at about 5t/ha (2t/acre).

Oilseed rape harvest in the South East was about 70-75% complete, and yields were slightly above average, according to Ian Pugh at United Oilseeds.

“As ever, oilseed rape is a complete mystery to most of us – the general consensus from farmers is surprised, and in many places, very pleased.”

Yields of 4-5t/ha (1.6-2t/acre) were not uncommon, and average yields were between 5% and 10% above last year, he reckoned.

Central stores were intaking all types of crops this week, with some farmers cutting wheat and spring barley before oilseed rape, said Simon Ward at Grainfarmers.

Early wheat samples were reasonable, although some were suffering from low bushelweights, he said. Milling wheat protein contents and Hagbergs were all fine.

Winter barley bushelweights, screenings and germination levels were good, and most malting barley was reaching the required nitrogen level.

Yields in the middle of the country were proving extremely variable, depending on soil type, according to agronomist Nick Brown.

Winter barley yields were generally down on last year, and ranged from 4.9-9.9t/ha (2-4t/acre). “I think anyone who got more than 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) will be pleased.

“More so than most years, it is going to be about soil type and moisture availability.”

There was plenty of moisture available at Sandy Walker’s Ercall Park Farm, Telford, Shropshire, today, bringing the combine to a standstill.

“We had 10mm of rain last night – it will do us all some good, but it’s a bit frustrating,” he said.

So far he had cut a couple of fields of oilseed rape, which was yielding above average at 4.5t/ha (1.8t/acre) over the combine. “We’re quite happy with that.”

Winter wheat was still nearly a week away from ripening, depending on the weather, he added.

Don’t forget – you can text us about yourharvest progress on 07537 402 287. Start your message with“fwharvest”

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Harvest is beginning to spread across the country, with combines now rolling in the North of England and Ireland.

Michael Manners had cut some winter barley at Conicliffe Grange, Staindrop, Darlington, and hoped to start oilseed rape tomorrow (29 July).

“I’m cautiously optimistic. There’s been a bit of winter barley cut around here, but not much rape.”

In Donegal, Ireland, harvest started on Monday at Liam and Stevie Robb’s Drumboy Farm, Newton Dunningham.

“We are just dodging the showers,” said Stevie. “Whenever we want to get going it rains.”

Many farmers were combining winter barley in the area, but nothing else was ready yet. “Harvest progress is about average. The bulk of it will start at the weekend.”

However, in England, winter barley harvest would be almost complete south of the M62 by Friday (30 July), said Jonathan Hoyland, barley trader at Frontier.

“The winter barley has been pleasantly surprising – yields are down on last year, but are probably about on the five-year average.”

With about a third of winter malting barley now tested, 80% was passing below 1.8% nitrogen.

Philip Chamberlain started combining Tipple spring barley at Crowmarsh Battle Farm, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, yesterday (27 July).

“All I’ve seen is a sample of the headland, but it’s not as bad as we had feared it would be. It’s not going to be a special yield, but we weren’t at all optimistic.”

In Kent, oilseed rape yields were slightly below average at David Clark Farms, Lenham, but had also exceeded expectations, given the difficult growing season.

New variety Eiffel topped 4.6t/ha (1.9t/acre), with Excalibur coming in at 3.7-4t/ha (1.5-1.6t/acre), said Jamie Clarke

Wheat would be ready by the end of next week (w/c 2 August). 

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Rain has stopped combines in their tracks across parts of the country today (21 July), but others have dodged the showers to cut oilseed rape and winter barley.

In Cambridgeshire, Oliver Walston had cut two-thirds of his oilseed rape at Thriplow Farm, with yields slightly above his five-year average.

The 80ha (198 acres) of Excalibur was yielding 3.4t/ha (1.4t/acre), he said. “It is rather drier than I’d like to see at between 6% and 7% moisture.”

Jonathan Lloyd had finished combining winter barley at Thelveton Farms, Diss, Norfolk, and hoped to start on oilseed rape today.

The 73ha (180 acres) of Maris Otter yielded about average at 5.4-6.2t/ha (2.2-2.4t/acre), coming in at 12-13% moisture.

Stephen Whitby was busy combining oilseed rape for a neighbour, and hoped to move onto his own crop of Castille at Rowley Farm, Wexham, Slough, shortly.

So far the rapeseed was yielding 3-3.5t/ha (1.2-1.4t/acre), while Carat winter barley had come in at 6.2-7.9t/ha (2.5-3.2t/acre).

In Holbeach, Lincolnshire, Mark Tinsley expected to start combining oilseed rape this week, and said wheat was about two weeks away.

“There’s very little being cut in this area but that will soon change.”

Rain has stopped play at Tim Skinner’s Stoddards Farm, Beckley, Sussex.

“We cut our first field of oilseed rape yesterday, at 8.5% moisture,” he said. At 4.2t/ha (1.7t/acre), the 6ha (15 acres) of Excalibur had yielded slightly better than average.

Showery spells had also kept the combine under wraps at Colin Keevil’s farm in Cloford, Frome, Somerset.

So far he had cut 24ha (60 acres) of Pearl winter barley, which had yielded better than average at 8-8.4 (3.25-3.4t/acre).

Decent straw yields were also pleasing, having been baled straight behind the combine for £198/ha (£80/acre).

Harvest roundup: Wednesday

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Harvest roundup: Wednesday

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Torrential rain across the West of the country today (2 September), and spreading East tomorrow, means combines will once again be at a standstill.

Robert Craig had not cut a dry crop at Carse Hall, Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, since 10 August – and even that was winter barley at 17%.

“It’s a typical Irish summer, and people are starting to get desperate over here.” Farmers had cut just 10% of spring barley and 20% of their winter wheat in the area, he said.

In Somerset, Richard Payne had cut half of his spring beans at Manor Farm, Heathfield, before being rained off again today.

So far the 24ha (60 acres) of Fuego beans had yielded over 5t/ha (2t/acre), which was reasonable, he said.

“It’s not actually that late – it just feels late because we’ve been hanging around for so long.”

Geoffrey Williams finished harvest at Birklands Farm, Retford, Nottinghamshire, 10 days ago, and was pleased with his wheat yields.

“We had a good year – the first wheats were getting on for 4t/acre (9.9t/ha) and the second wheats averaged 3.25t/acre (7.9t/ha).”

Yields and quality were also pleasing at Stephen Horn’s Bushy Down Farm, Droxford, Hampshire, but prices were diabolical.

“Yields were very good, but it doesn’t compensate for the dire prices – we’re in for some big losses this year.”

Further North, in Durham, Michael Manners had finished combining winter wheat, but still had spring oats to cut.

“We had an inch of rain on Sunday (30 August) and everywhere is just sodden – it’s just hopeless.” Harvest was between 75% and 80% complete in the area, he said.

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Wednesday

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Milling wheat and spring barley quality is generally very good, but wet weather in the North and West is starting to affect some crops.

Group 1 varieties were averaging about 12.8% protein, with Group 2 wheats at 12.2%, and Group 3s and 4s at 10.7-10.8%, said Simon Christensen from Frontier.

“I can’t see any issues with quality at all.”

In Kent, quality was proving variable, said Francesca Lewis at Weald Granary.

But while there were a number of low protein samples, careful blending meant most crops would achieve a milling premium.

Farmers in the West Midlands had about 30% of their wheat still to cut, and Hagbergs were starting to fall, said Julian Walker of Shropshire Grain.

“Hagbergs are not as high as we would want – and where they are borderline, with only a £20 milling wheat premium, there could be a lot to lose on fallbacks.”

Malting barley quality and yields had been excellent across Europe, producing around a 3m tonne surplus, said Stuart Shand of Gleadell Agriculture.

With huge carryover stocks and poor malting demand, the news was not good for prices. “One maltster is not taking any new crop until November.”

In Scotland, spring barley and winter wheat had broken two more records for Jim Whiteford at Shandwick Mains, Tain, Inverness.

“One 70-acre (28ha) field of Optic did a staggering 3.5t/acre (8.65t/ha). Quality has been excellent and the barley is heavy, at up to 71kg/hl.”

But in the South, up to 75% of malting barley samples could fail to make the grade due to split skins and fusarium, said Nick Brown of Wiltshire Grain.

“I reckon we’ve thrown 50% out (into the feed bin), and half of what we’ve kept may not be any good either.”

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Upload image to Harvest Highlights

Harvest continues apace in the East of England, but further West and North conditions have been more challenging.

The end of the week should see most farmers finished in East Anglia, according to Stuart Attridge of Harlow Agricultural Merchants.

“Quality is good – first wheats are doing well, but some of the second wheats are a bit variable.”

Milling wheat quality was far better than last year, but protein contents were slightly low, said Richard Jenner, director of marketing at Openfield.

“On the whole, sample results are pretty good, but we are seeing some lower proteins. On balance, they are below the standard 13% specification.”

In the South of England wheat harvest was likely to be about three-quarters through by this weekend, said Frontier’s Jon Duffy.

“Where the crops went into a good seedbed and were well established, yields have been better than expected across all commodities.”

Further West, many crops went into appalling conditions last autumn, and were suffering the penalties, said Richard Burt at Rotherdale Farm, Throckmorton, Worcestershire.

“We left 200ha (500 acres) fallow last autumn, and at today’s prices we would have been better not to plant those crops which are doing 7t/ha.”

In the South West wheat was scarcely ripe, but early indications of yield and quality were reasonable, said Ian Eastwood, marketing manager at West Country Grain.

Harvest was about halfway through in Somerset, and just 30% complete in Devon and Cornwall.

In Scotland, John Hutcheson was hoping to finish oilseed rape today. “I’m sitting in the field and it’s just spitting with rain on the windscreen – it’s so frustrating.”

The Sequel winter barley yielded a slightly disappointing 8.4t/ha (3.4t/acre), and the Mendel and Cuillin oilseed rape had also been poor, he said.

Viscount winter wheat had been sprayed off for two weeks and was fit to cut as soon as he could get into it. “It needs to be cut in the next few days.”

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Winter barley and oilseed rape harvest is all but wrapped up across the country, with many farmers making inroads to spring barley and winter wheat.
In Worcestershire, Andrew Goodman hoped to make a start on his spring barley tomorrow.

“All of the oilseed rape and winter barley is pretty much finished. We just want a week’s sunshine now.”

Farmers had almost finished winter barley in the North-East, and were waiting for everything else to ripen, said Gary Bright of GrainCo.

“This is the lull before the storm. If the weather stays nice, there will be oilseed rape, spring barley, wheat and oats ready – everything is due to ripen at the same time.”

Further north, near Inverness, Jim Whiteford had finished oilseed rape, and hoped to be into spring barley early next week.

He was busy drilling rapeseed today, as he expected poor weather on Friday. “We need to get on with it up here.”

The wet weather had started to impact on wheat and spring barley quality in Wiltshire, with sprouted grain and weathered looking crops, said Nick Brown at Wiltshire Grain.

He was just starting to take in Cordiale and Solstice winter wheat, and Hagbergs ranged from 100 to 300. “Proteins are all over the place – it’s very variable.”

But wheat was not yet fit across much of the region, and in Berkshire Nigel Horne was not too concerned about the weather.

“We’re making slow progress, and it’s not an easy season, but I’m quite optimistic about the wheat.”

Milling wheat quality and yields were extremely variable in Kent, according to Francesca Lewis of Weald Granary.

More than half of the Solstice and Cordiale taken into the store had exceeded 12.8% protein, with around a third at 12-12.8%, and the remainder falling below that.

“The Hagbergs have been passing, it’s just the protein that’s an issue.”

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



Harvest roundup: Wednesday

Showers continue to frustrate attempts to combine, with rain spreading East across the country today (29 July).

In Derbyshire harvest was scarcely underway, said James Chamberlain of Glebe Farm, Shardlow.

Having swathed all the rape, he was one of the earliest farmers to start combining in the area, and still had Excalibur and more Bravour to get in.

Further North, in Tyne & Wear, Geoff Alderslade had finished his first block of winter barley, and was waiting for the remainder to ripen.

Harvest was a month ahead of last year, which was thwarted by the torrential summer. “There are one or two wet spots in the fields but it’s a lot better than last year.”

Progress was much further ahead in Cambridgeshire, where farmers had just 15% of winter barley left to cut, said Camgrain’s Philip Darke.

Farmers had combined about half of their winter rapeseed, which was getting in the way of ripening wheat. “It is frustrating – farmers just want to get on.”

Afternoon showers had stopped the combine at Gary Mills’s farm near Peterborough, but oilseed rape had so far proved better than expected.

“Considering when the Osprey was drilled (third week in September), and not in the best conditions, it’s done pretty well.”

Oilseed rape had also yielded better at Robert Shove’s Lillechurch Farm, Kent, than for a number of years.

The 62ha (153 acres) of Komando had averaged 3.9t/ha (1.6t/acre). “I’m very pleased with that – we’ve struggled to get decent rape yields for years.”

Many people had finished rape in the area, and harvest was about 10% complete, he reckoned.

 syngenta seeds logo

Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

Go to the Syngenta Seeds website



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