Winter barley quality indications were good in the south, Robin Appel barley buyer Jonathan Arnold told FWi’s Harvest Highlights.

“I’ve seen a little bit of splitting, but not as much as we’d feared given the [alternate] wet and dry season.”

Yields were not great, but malting quality was very usable, he said. The firm’s four main malting varieties were Pearl, Flagon, Fanfare and Maris Otter.

“They’ve all done reasonably well. We’ve got low nitrogen Pearl’s and Maris Otter.

“But having said that it is still a very mixed bag – some good, some bad, some indifferent.”

The high temperatures had probably taken the edge off the yields, he believed. “Crops were full of promise a few weeks back.”

That applied equally to wheats and spring barley, apart from on the chalk soils. “On the chalks the spring barley appears to have held up reasonably well – the rain we had was a godsend.”

But on other soils yields were likely to be very variable, he said.