18 September 2001
Co-op’s figures confirm trend

EARLY indications from Viking Cereals post-harvest survey are that wheat yields across its Oxfordshire-to-Yorkshire catchment area are substantially below last years.

First wheat yields are 17% down and second wheats 21% down, says the co-operatives Paul Toseland.

“Admittedly only 20% of members have sent in their returns, but they do not like to spread bad news.”

With 66 reports on spring wheat filed, that is averaging under 4.9t/ha (2t/acre), he adds.

“Yields are all over the place but quality seems OK. They have gone through the Hagberg problems because they have not been ready until now.”

Bean yields, like all crops this year, are massively variable but probably 20-25% down overall, he estimates.

“Bruchid is a real problem this year. Only a quarter of samples are OK,” he adds.

East of the A1, 90% of the bean crop is cleared but, to the west from Leicestershire north, there is as much as 50% still in the field, he estimates.


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