Farmers in East Anglia are continuing to snatch crops between the showers, with more rain forecast for later in the week.
But bushweights are already starting to suffer, according to Andrew Dewing at Dewing Grain.
“I spoke to a grower this morning (9 August), who has gone back into wheat he started cutting before the rain, and the bushelweight has fallen from 80kg/hl to about 77kg/hl.
“That is not good news – it is really going to start bringing yields down quickly.”
Crops were starting to look a bit weathered, but Hagbergs should hold up well, he said. “It’s been quite cool. I wouldn’t expect Hagbergs to be a problem yet.
“But now is a critical time – a lot of farmers will wait, to try and avoid a drying charge, but they will lose more money by dropping bushelweights – they could easily lose 10% in yield.”
Overall, wheat yields were about 5-10% below average, although some on light land were down by 20%, said Mr Dewing.
“The big bushelweights are helping. In this area about 10% of the wheat has been cut, and it’s phenomenally good quality; it’s the best I’ve ever seen.
“We’ve probably got 1m tonnes of really good quality wheat that’s been harvested. If that can be segregated we can compete on a number of new export markets.”
Spring barley harvest was about 15-20% complete in Norfolk, and yields were poor. “All yields are down; but where crops were not irrigated they are very poor.”
Nitrogen contents were extremely high, at about 2.3%, he added. “There is a high failure rate of malting barley from Norfolk at the moment.
“Some of the grains are very green, too, which is going to be a storage nightmare.”