Wheat and barley crops are beginning to be affected by the rain in the South and East of the country, with those further north and west not yet ripe.
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In Surrey, Roger Colebrook had cut most of his Soissons before the rain. “It was an exceptional crop and quality was perfect,” he said.
But the wet weather was now damaging the Hagberg and protein. “If it doesn’t brighten up after the weekend we will be in big trouble.”
Spring barley and oilseed rape had done well at Chris Cockayne’s farm in Nottinghamshire, but rain was starting to affect the remaining wheat and barley. “The crops are beginning to lose their brightness and are looking a bit dark,” he said.
But in Herefordshire wheat was nowhere near fit and was standing up well to the weather, said Philip Gorringe. “The wheat looks fine – it is still standing and still quite green, thank goodness,” he said.
Wheat harvest was about three days away at Philip Bradshaw’s Flegcroft Farm, Cambs. He had finished his oilseed rape, yielding about 3.8t/ha (1.5t/acre). “Yields have been above average except for one or two pigeon-hit blocks,” he said.
In Scotland James Grant-Suttie had cut a third of his Pearl winter barley, and was pleased with the results. “It’s looking good – it’s yielding over 7t/ha (3t/acre) and is 1.5% nitrogen,” he said. “But the conditions are really hampering us now.”
The wet weather and falling prices meant very few farmers were selling at the moment, said traders. Oilseed rape markets crashed by about £25/t yesterday (5 August) and cereal prices were also under pressure.
But the delayed harvest meant there was very little pressure to move crops, said Frontier’s Alan Macaulay in Berwick. “Lorry availability has not been a problem because of the weather – it hardly feels like we’ve started yet.”
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high