Harvest Highlights: South shines

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

Harvest progress is generally better than last year for southern farmers reports are showing today (Aug 18).

Elsewhere, some growers are reporting lower than average yields, with many concerned about rain forecast for the next few days.

Wiltshire Grain Co-op’s Nick Brown said quality is generally good with protein up on last year, and some group two varieties have been up to group one standard. He has seen 5000 tonnes of wheat to date, which is five days ahead of this time last year.

Canterbury farmer Brian Mummery expects to finish cutting Xi19 wheat tomorrow (Aug 19) with yields 1.25t/ha above last year due to better weather conditions: “We didn’t start cutting wheat until September last year – the weather was atrocious.”

But things are not going so well for Jim Macfarlane in Scotland, where spring barley yields were down on last year. The cold, wet spring held yields back to 6t/ha, and badgers are trampling large areas of his winter wheat. Oilseed rape was also below average, which he said was fairly representative of the area.

Wheat yields were “trimmed by the bad weather” for farmers in Banbury and Northamptonshire, said Justin Blackwood. Bushel weights were generally in the low 70kgs/hl due to pinched grain after the drought in June.

East Yorkshire farmer Paul Temple said oil content of oilseed rape is below average in the Yorkshire area. He said the wheat is looking reasonable and quality should be ok, providing the weather stays fine.

Heavy rain is forecast for much of the UK tomorrow and the unsettled weather is expected to continue into the weekend. For a more detailed local update, visit FWi weather.

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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