Harvest Highlights: Wheat yields below par but prices continue to climb

Combines made the most of a fine day across the UK, pushing deeper into wheat in the south and east.


While yields appear lower than average, farms were welcoming ever firmer prices. 


Einstein wheat yields disappointed Tim Lock of in West Sussex who put yields at 1.25t/ha (0.5 t/acre) below average.


He said: “Yields are definitely down, but prices are significantly up.”


Jeffrey Claydon had 24ha (60 acres) of Ambrosia finished, which yielded about 9 t/ha (3.6t/acre), performing better as a second wheat than a first.


He was still pushing on through his 160ha (400 acres) of winter wheat.


“We’re down to the last 300 acres (120ha) now. So far we’ve been fortunate to miss the rain. If it stays warm and dry they’ll be no trouble.”


Also hoping for a good weather forecast was Hugh Jones near Rhyl, who wanted to wrap up his 24ha (60 acres) of winter wheat by this weekend.


He thought yields would turn out well, and he welcomed the ongoing bull run in grain markets.


In contrast the wheat harvest is nearly over for Alan Willet who hoped to complete winter wheat today at Ernest Doe Farm, Ulting, near Maldon, Essex.


He had a third of his 24ha (60 acres) of Soissons winter wheat to finish. Cutting began at 13.5% moisture on Tuesday [7 August] yields about 6.75t/ha (2.7 t/acre).


“It’s been a nightmare with rain off and on. Slowly but surely we’re getting there,” Mr Willet said.


Grain trader Nick Mathew of Bartholomew’s, Chichester, West Sussex expected output to be lower across the board.


Mr Mathew said that combines had cleared about half the wheat over southern England, and yields appeared to struggle. Overall he expected harvest to finish a lot earlier than normal.


“It’s progressing very rapidly,” he said.


The November 2008 futures price traded at £120.50/t today meaning £116/t ex-farm was achievable for feed wheat in most areas.



* If you’ve got a harvest story then call our dedicated harvest reporter David Kemp on 020 8652 4073. You can also get involved on the new FWiSpace forums where you can chat directly with other farmers and share the high and lows of what is shaping up to be a challenging summer.


You can also share your harvest pictures by sending them to david.kemp@rbi.co.uk who will make sure they appear on our dedicated Harvest Highlights 2007 Picture Gallery (www.fwi.co.uk/Community/photos/harvesthighlights)


If you prefer, we can set you up with your own gallery where you can upload pictures at any time to share them with other farmers.


We are hoping to print a selection of the best harvest pictures submitted each week in Farmers Weekly magazine. Please be aware that for use in the magazine we will need pictures to be taken using the highest quality setting on your camera.


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