By FWi staff

THIS years UK cereal harvest will be smaller than expected, forecasts the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

A combination of bad weather and lower plantings means less grain will be combined this summer, HGCA analysts say.

Last month was the second-wettest June since records began, according to the Meteorological Office. That delayed ripening and put paid to hopes of a bumper harvest across many parts of the country.

The HGCA estimates that 3.46 million hectares of cereals will be combined this summer – 32,000ha less than the area recorded by last years June Census.

The authoritys Planting Survey results put the area of wheat at 2.04m ha, barley at 1.32m ha, and oats at 0.1m ha.

Although the figures are down on last year, the barley area has fallen less than expected. This raises concerns that intervention will once again be the main destination for much of the crop, say HGCA analysts.