Farmers and traders are becoming increasingly concerned about poor quality wheat, with low bushelweights and sprouted grains a common problem across the country.
“We’ve seen samples as low as 60kg/hl and it’s amazing how much is left to do,” said Peter Hall, grain trader at Grainfarmers.
With grain so wet and harvest progress so slow, there were problems with people selling loads and not being able to fill them, added Frontier’s Alan Macauley.
“Drying capacity is holding everything up – the grain is not coming forward as it should be.”
In Dundee Ian Moncrieff had not been out combining for 10 days, but with better weather forecast he hoped to be on soon.
“The wheat has gone over in patches and is sprouting a bit, but the barley is a very good crop,” he said.
Travelling was still difficult on land in East Yorkshire, but contractor Keith Snowball was on combining today (17 September).
“The combines are making a hell of a mess, but we’re getting through it,” he said.
In Pembrokeshire, sea mists had prevented Meurig Raymond from combining for the past three days.
Yields had been excellent at over 10t/ha (4t/acre), but with drying costs of £10/t and the falling prices, they needed to be, he said.
And flat oats were holding everything up at Robert Law’s Thrift Farm, Royston, Herts.
“It’s just such slow going at the moment – it would almost be better to put a match to it,” he said. “It’s been absolutely horrendous.”
However, the wheat had borne up well, with bushelweights only falling from 80kg/hl at their peak to 76kg/hl now.
“Most of us will finish in the next few days around here,” he said.
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
See the New Farm Crops website.