grain lorry

Harvest is all but finished in the West Country, with just the odd field of beans left to combine.

“In general, peas and beans have done quite well, although there have been one or two horror stories,” said Ian Eastwood, marketing director at West Country Grain.

Spring barley had also performed reasonably well, although yields were slightly down, he added.

“Anyone that had half an eye on the malting market won’t be in a position to capitalise on it, because we’re on the wrong side of the country and there’s plenty of malting barley to meet demand in the East.

“However, the feed base is strong, so it will stay in the South West as feed.”

Oat yields had been lower than normal, but quality had been good, and there was plenty of straw, said Mr Eastwood. “It all helps to boost incomes.”

However, wheat quality was fairy dismal, with low bushel weights across the region.

“In Somerset, we’ve probably averaged 68-69kg/hl, with Devon at 67-68kg/hl and Cornwall at 65-66kg/hl.

“That said, there are some reasonable samples at 70+ kg/hl along the North Cornwall coast and between Taunton and Bridgwater, which is very welcome.

“It’s very frustrating to have such a highly variable crop – roll on harvest 2013, I say.”