Winter oats could prove to be the surprise winner this season, yielding nearly 9t/ha, according to the latest HGCA Recommended List harvest results.

The control mean is currently at 8.95t/ha, more than 0.5t/ha above the five-year mean of 8.41t/ha.

As expected, the naked varieties Grafton, Fusion and the candidate Beacon have yielded less than husked varieties, but all three varieties have performed better in 2013 compared with the five-year average, says HGCA Recommended List manager Simon Oxley.

Balado typically tops the yield table and is currently the highest-yielding variety (106%). The candidate variety Selwyn is however, achieving a similar yield. Mascani has done well, particularly at the Hampshire site, with a higher yield (109%) than the five-year average.

“Top yields were seen at the site in Devon where Balado and Rhapsody (both 108%) have performed particularly well,” says Mr Oxley.

In commercial crops, about 70% of the British oat crop (winter and spring) had been harvested, according to the latest HGCA/ADAS report. The current average yield estimate is 5.6-5.8 t/ha, slightly above the five-year average, with the best crops on moisture-retentive soils yielding up to 9.5t/ha.

However, the report highlights that specific weights are low in the East, while being better in the West.

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