Harvest Highlights: Drying costs pinch

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

HIGH FUEL prices increasing drying costs this year is a key concern for growers in Scotland and northern England, according to recent reports.

While a large proportion of crops in southern England have needed little or no drying, many further north have been less fortunate.

Keen to get crops in, James Grant Suttie has cut some wheat at up to 25% in Peterhead, Scotland. But in general most of his Robigus has come in at a pleasing 17-18%, he noted.

Yorkshire farmer Caley Sackur said difficult weather means harvest has been very expensive, as most crops needed drying. But all stayed standing and yields were better than last year, with Malacca and Einstein averaging 10–11.25t/ha, he said.

Doug Fowlie said his biggest problem has been the price of fuel, making drying costs too expensive. Most crops are coming in at 20% moisture, he noted. Despite the high drying costs, 40ha of spring barley has yielded well, he added.

But the situation is not as bad as in parts of Bulgaria where flooding destroyed 30,000ha of wheat in the field, commented the Home Grown Cereals Authority’s Michael Mendelsohn.

Heavy rain has also damaged rye, spring barley and wheat quality in Germany, where about 20% of wheat is still to be cut, he said.

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


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