Final few days in East Anglia

Harvest is almost finished in East Anglia, with farmers dodging the showers to get in the last of the wheat, spring barley and beans.

“Most people have just got a few days’ combining left – quite a lot finished a week ago, and the big players are into beans now,” said Philip Darke, managing director at Camgrain.

Some spring barley was still not fit, and yields were 50% down on average, he said. “If farmers were budgeting for 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) they’ve got 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).

“There is huge variation, but in almost every case the oilseed rape has outyielded the spring barley – a lot of rapeseed has come off at 5t/ha (2t/acre) this year.”

Nitrogen contents were high, averaging 2% in spring barley and 1.9% in winter barley, he added. “But they’re big and bold samples.”

Wheat yields were about 15% below average, at around 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre). “But quality is excellent, across the board.”

Group One and Two varieties were averaging 84kg/hl, with protein contents about 0.5 percentage points above normal, at 13.4%. “Hagbergs are all fine, even after the rain.”

The first beans were now coming into store, said Mr Darke. “They look pretty diabolical, in terms of both quality and yield.

“There’s been a lot of Bruchid beetle damage, and the crops are very short so yields are bound to be down. But it’s early days – maybe the later crops will be better.”

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