Grain (c) Tim Scrivener

None of the wheat that Hampshire Grain has taken in so far has made full milling quality, according to manager Mike Clay.

“Winter wheat harvest is just starting, and so far we have no full-spec milling wheat,” he said.

Cordiale had fared the best so far, with an average bushel weight of 73kg/hl. Gallant was also doing reasonably well, at 72-74kg/hl. But Claire was coming in at 67-68kg/hl, with Oakley at 62kg/hl.

“Protein contents are reasonable, but Hagbergs are down, too. There are lots of shrivelled grains, but screenings are alright – if they were high we could clean the samples up and boost the bushel weights, but that’s not an option.”

Yields were averaging 6.2-7.4t/ha, compared to 9.9t/ha in a normal year.

Spring barley harvest was also underway, with yields down from their usual 7.4t/ha to between 4.9t/ha and 6.2t/ha.

“There are quality issues with all the crops, whether it be bushel weights or fusarium,” said Mr Clay.

“The spring barley has a lot of black tips, which will affect the germination later on. It’s categorised as malt at the moment, but in a normal year it would not make the grade.”

Oilseed rape yields had averaged 3-3.7t/ha, compared to a five-year mean of over 3.7t/ha, he added. “Oil content is two percentage points down, at 40-41%.”

Winter barley yields were also slightly below average, at just below 7.4t/ha. “It’s not the best looking sample – bushel weights are alright, but there are a lot of skinned grains.

“It will probably be alright for immediate use, but it won’t store well. As a central store, we’re trying to guess how low the customers’ specifications will go – all we can do is batch like with like at the moment.”