Harvest quality and progress in the south-west was diabolical, according to Ian Eastwood of West Country Grain.
“There are people losing livelihoods in the far south-west. Some people have got a terrific amount to do.”
The majority of wheat was now harvested in Somerset, but in Devon farmers still had 30-45% to cut, with more than half of the wheat still to do in Cornwall, said Mr Eastwood.
“Some of it is stood up, but it’s really badly sprouted.” Most corn was coming into store at over 20% now, and was losing bushelweight as sprouts fell off during drying.
Breakages were a common problem as the wheat was so wet, and it was costing farmers around £15-£20/t to dry.
With so much to cope with, the Somerset, Devon and Cornwall stores had all stopped intakes to catch up, he added.
Although yields had been good, shed and sprouted grains were starting to affect yields now. Fusarium and rotten grains were also becoming a major problem.
“Quite how we are going to handle that it is difficult to say.”
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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high
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