Harvest Highlights: Drought problems

Send us your views on harvest progress/prospects: Karen.Willmer@rbi.co.uk


Drought earlier this year has taken its toll on wheat yields in some parts of the country, but quality remains generally high, according to latest reports.


With the lightest soils worst affected, low prices mean many growers are struggling to cover high input costs with lower yields.


Bad sowing conditions last autumn and the lack of rain this year has meant disappointing yields for Chris Vowles in Bristol. Claire yielded 7.5t/ha last year, but only 6t/ha this year which he said was upsetting because input costs are high.


Kent farmer Bill Harbour is disappointed with his Malacca wheat at 8.5t/ha which he said is due to the drought earlier this year. Second wheats have not been so good this year, he said. Bunting peas were also affected by the heat and yielded 4t/ha despite looking more promising.


Malacca and Hereward wheat yields of 7.5-8.75t/ha were down 10% on last year for Clinton Dunmore in North Bedfordshire. He said this was due to the drought in June, however quality was very good and the crop “came off better than I thought”.


Nottinghamshire grain merchant Geoff Williams said wheat quality is high with good protein and good Hagberg, but with higher than normal screenings due to the hot weather earlier this year. He said other problems have included rising fuel prices combined with high grain moisture.


See FWi’s new Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.

NOVEMBER
3

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