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As farmers attempt to progress with combining between the showers, reflections on wheat crops cut so far have highlighted variable results across the country.
Many growers have been disappointed with all or part of their wheat, whilst others are concerned for remaining crops.
Malacca yields were 10% down on average for Clinton Dunmore in North Bedfordshire having suffered from the drought. Bushel weights had struggled and the crop did not make milling specification despite having high protein levels.
Yields and quality of second wheats had not done so well for John Wilcox near Stratford. “They were early drilled, were affected by disease and the dry weather.” But the crop had been sold to a local mill and none had to be dried so far.
He had 66ha of winter wheat remaining and since the crop was still standing he was not too concerned about the rain. Wheat cut today (Aug 22) came in at 18.5% moisture.
Brian Shaw in Bedfordshire said quality of remaining crops was deteriorating with sprouting in the ear and some were beginning to lodge.
“We thought the best was still to come but it will not be now. It did look very promising but now it has lost its edge.”
He has only combined for one day in the past 10 days, with 40% of wheat left to cut. He added: “It will be an interesting marketing situation now. The wheat in the barn will now be high quality as millers can’t buy any better.”
However, wheat yields had been “exceptional” for John Moss in Cornwall with an average of 8.75-10t/ha (3.5-4t/ac), which he was very pleased with. All crops made quality grade and all bushel weights were above 76kg/hl. He said later drilled crops performed better than the earlier drilled.
But with moisture levels now at 21%, showers were holding him back. “We wanted to put harvest to bed by the end of August but that’s fast approaching now.”
See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.