Harvest Highlights: Varied progress

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

WHILE MANY Scottish growers are yet to start wheat, those further south have made good progress over the weekend. But rain today (Aug 22) has ground a large number to a halt, raising concerns over the impact on quality of standing crops.

Doug Fowlie in Peterhead, Scotland expects to start wheat and spring barley in seven to 10 days. Having finished winter barley, he said progress is behind last year as there is normally no gap between winter barley and wheat.

Durham farmer Michael Manners said harvest progress was going well until the rain this morning (Aug 22), but is still “well ahead” of last year. Yields were 10–10.6t/ha, with bushel weights of 78 – 79kg/hl.

Wheat harvest is finished for Jeremy Walker in Somerset, with no sprouting or lodging problems, he said. Bushel weights were average, and yields were pleasing. Mr Walker found harvest a lot easier this year. “This time last year the crops were soggy, wet and sprouting. It was an awful salvage operation.”

Eastern farmer Arnold Hitchcock also said progress is ahead of last year, although the “depressing” rain is currently holding him back. He said the rain will affect quality of the remaining 280ha and expects there to be a dramatic drop in Hagbergs as the crop is fit to cut.

“As prices aren’t special, we really need the quality to be good.”

Robin Appel’s James Ross said 80% of wheat has been cut in the south. He expects rain to affect the remaining crop and has already seen some variable Hagbergs.

“We can’t be over optimistic on seeing any good Hagbergs in the next batch of samples.”

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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