Wheat harvest is about 25% complete in the South, and early indications of yields are good, according to Mike Clay at Hampshire Grain.
“The bushel weights and yields are good, with many people talking of 79-82kg/hl and 10-12t/ha – but protein is lower than normal,” he said.
“We’d normally expect group one varieties to test at 13-13.5% protein, but about 50% are between 12% and 13%, with the rest at around 11.5%.”
A lot of wheat in the area wasn’t yet fit, and it was mostly the first wheats that had been cut so far, added Mr Clay. “It may be that we’ve seen the best of the crop, but I haven’t spoken to anyone who’s unhappy with yields yet.”
See also: 10 mean, moody and magnificent harvest photos.
In contrast, oilseed rape yields had been very disappointing, averaging about 3t/ha. “I think the oilseed rape harvest around here is finished, and winter barley is complete as well,” he said.
“Winter barley did well, with good bushel weights and low screenings.” Around 1000t of the 4000t of winter barley taken into store was potential malting barley, and nitrogen contents were on the low side, at 1.6% for Cassata compared to 1.75% in a normal year.
Spring barley harvest was about 25% complete, and nitrogen contents were particularly low due to good yields, said Mr Clay. “We’ve got a lot at 1.4%, which is good for distillers, but not so good for export to brewers, who want 1.7%.”
Oat harvest was about halfway through, and most samples were passable, with bushel weights just topping 50kg/hl, he added.
“There’s a lot of harvest movement of grain to and from the ports, so there is a huge amount of pressure on the transport fleet right now.”