Farmers in Dorset and Wiltshire are starting to make inroads to winter barley and oilseed rape harvest, and yields are pleasing so far, according to Wessex Grain.


Trading director Nick Matthews said the store started intaking grain over the weekend (16 July). “We haven’t had much in, but there is a reasonable quantity available to move now.”

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.

“It’s pleasantly pleasing against what we thought could happen – and these are the earlier crops. We’ve started reasonably well and are quietly confident that will continue.

“I don’t think the rain this week will do any harm – the combining was well up to date, so it will be alright if we can get going again next week.”

Oilseed rape was not quite fit yet and should be a big crop, he added.

“We’re faring better than the Eastern counties; the crops were well established in some good seedbeds, and we caught the rain at just the right moment.”

Malting barley samples were good so far. “They are all usable.”

Markets for feed wheat and barley were particularly short for harvest movement, which should support prices, said Mr Matthews.

“The supply and demand was always going to be tight, and the trade is short, particularly of feed wheat for early August.”