Harvest Highlights: Heat-wave raises concern for wheat

Send us you views on harvest progress/ prospects: Karen.willmer@rbi.co.uk

The heat-wave has fuelled concern among growers as harvest progresses around the country. With an early wheat harvest underway, farmers expected the hot weather to have affected yields.

Andrew Kerr in Essex said his wheat was suffering both from the drought and from eye-spot. He said Hereward had been affected more than other varieties, and second wheats were also suffering from take-all. Wheat harvest was a week to ten days away.

“We usually start in August but this year we will start cutting in July.”

Hertfordshire farmer Charles Martin was concerned wheat yields would be affected by the lack of moisture. He said the crop had ripened too quickly and would be ahead of last year. “The wheat has been dying off for three weeks now.”

Tim Cooper in Essex shared the concerns: “We’ve no great hopes for the wheat. It could look better.” He said Malacca was very dry and ripening prematurely.

Harvest was early for Russel Fraser in Nottinghamshire, having started winter barley on July 10. He began cutting wheat yesterday. But despite the dry weather and sandy land, he was pleased with Cordiale yields of 7t/ha, and was surprised with the quality.  “I am very pleased with the quality, especially the high protein levels because it is going for milling next week.”

Find out how Farmers Weekly’s barometer growers are getting on with harvest in our new Barometers’ Blog

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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