Many farmers are finishing off the last of harvest, and some quality is still holding up remarkably well.
In Northumberland Carl Tuer had nearly finished combining wheat, leaving 200ha (500 acres) of spring barley and oats to cut.
“Wheat quality still seems reasonable – it’s absolutely amazing, the amount of sprouting we’ve got is minimal,” he said.
James Porter finished harvest at West Scryne, Carnoustie, Angus, on Monday (22 September), and wheat yields had been above average at about 10t/ha (4t/acre).
Although harvest was two to three weeks behind, he reckoned most farmers would finish up this week.
In Herefordshire, Philip Gorringe had got 28ha (70 acres) of winter wheat to finish off, followed by spring wheat and peas.
Despite some sprouting, most of his winter wheat would make the seed grade it was grown for, he said. “That’s a bonus we were beginning to think we weren’t going to get.”
Yields were also good at John Best’s Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass, County Armagh, where he finished cutting winter wheat this morning (24 September).
“It was worth persevering,” he said. “There’s a lot of wheat in the area – it will take a good week to clear it up.”
With such a wide range in quality, farmers should test all their wheat, as even feed varieties could be worth a significant premium, said traders.
Feed prices ranged from £85-£120/t, depending on quality, said Julian Walker of Shropshire Grain.
“You don’t know what it’s worth until you’ve seen a sample. If you don’t get it sampled there are going to be some wasted opportunities.”
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
See the New Farm Crops website.