The delayed harvest means wheat consumers are now getting desperate for immediate supplies, and are paying upwards of a £20/t premium for quick movement.
The early premium had only developed over the past couple of days, and had to be considerable to cover farmers’ drying costs, said John Whitelam, marketing director at Fengrain.
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Producers had only cut 1-2% of their wheat in Cambs and Essex, but early sample and yield results were promising, although few crops were yet fully ripe, he said. “We are still cautiously optimistic both for yield and quality.”
Oliver Walston had cut 15% of his Glasgow winter wheat at Thriplow Farm, Cambridge, and was thrilled with the yields so far, averaging 11.7t/ha (4.75t/acre). He had cut wheat at the wettest level ever – 27.1% – to capture the weather market prices, selling all the wheat so far at between £115/t and £171/t.
In Shropshire Richard Solari had cut 18ha (45 acres) of winter wheat at 20-22% moisture to supply an early contract at £150/t. The Oakley averaged about 9.9t/ha (4t/acre), which was pleasing, he said.
Winter barley has yielded well at Andy Robinson’s farm near Horncastle, Lincs, with Suzuka grown for seed averaging almost 7t/ha (3t/acre). “I was very satisfied with that – it’s the third year of barley and it was the best yield we’ve had,” he said. “It’s good big bold stuff too.”
In Scotland, Martin Bridges hoped to make a start on oilseed rape today (8 August), having finished the winter barley. His spring barley was at least two weeks away, and the wheat would not be ready until September.
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high