Harvest Highlights: Yields suffered in the dry summer

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Reports today (September 5) are showing wheat and spring barley yields have been variable. Growers across the country have said the dry summer meant crops on lighter land suffered while crops on heavier land performed better.

Yields of Einstein and Zebedee ranged from 6.9-10t/ha (2.75-4t/acre) for Lincolnshire grower Anthony Fixter. He said there were good and bad bits but was pleased to get the crop in before the weather broke.

 “I know one or two neighbours who have still got some wheat to cut – the quality is not good and the Hagbergs have gone completely.”

Winter wheat yields ranged from 7.75-10.5t/ha (3.1-4.2t/acre) for Alistair Home-Roberts in Shrewsbury.

“Harvest could have been considerably better if we had rain at the right time, but it was not a big disaster as it could have been.”

Philip Chamberlain in Oxfordshire said harvest had been “intermittent” but yields were at “extremes”. Alchemy was the highest yielder at 10.4t/ha (4.16t/acre) while second wheat Hereward struggled at 7t/ha (2.8t/acre). The overall wheat average was 8.5t/ha.

Quality was also variable. “It just made the right protein levels for milling, but they were not as high as we would have liked.”

Scottish grower Hamish Forbes said spring barley yields had been variable with crops on light land performing poorer than those on heaver land. Quality was also variable and he said some nitrogen levels were extremely high.

“The picture is the same all over the area due to the dry weather – a lot of the light land has high screenings and high nitrogen levels.”

Aberdeenshire grower Nick Davidson said harvest had been “very good indeed” this year, but he shared similar concerns to Mr Forbes.

“Crops did very well on heavier land but they definitely suffered on the light land.  If the spring crops were early enough drilled then they were fine.”

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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