Temperamental weather has slowed the pace of harvest over the past week, although farmers still managed to cut 640,000ha in the week to 5 August.
According to the latest HGCA / ADAS report, harvest was now around 40% complete, making it one of the earliest harvests in the past five years.
Wheat harvest was 20% through by 5 August, compared to a five-year average of 5% cut, said the report.
“Most of the crops harvested to date are the early maturing varieties such as Cordiale, Gallant and Grafton, although some early-sown Group three and Group four varieties have now been cut.”
Overall, yields were above average, although they ranged from 3.7t/ha on land affected by winter floods, to 13t/ha for early-established first wheats.
Specific weights were good, at 72-82kg/hl, with Hagbergs averaging 308 seconds – but protein remained low at 9-12.5%, it added.
Spring barley harvest was now 10% complete, with initial yields ranging from 5-8.75t/ha.
“First indications suggest that quality is good, with acceptable specific weights and malting grain nitrogen contents.”
See also: 10 mean, moody and magnificent harvest photos.
Winter barley harvest was nearing completion, with 95% cut against an average of 60%, said the report.
Yields had been highly variable, from 4.9t to 11t/ha – but overall, yields were better than normal, at 7.2-7.4t/ha.
“There have been good yields on a range of soil types, although the highest yields have tended to come from crops grown on heavier soil types.”
Malting quality was acceptable, averaging 65kg/hl and 1.7% nitrogen – although high screenings were a problem in some samples.
With just over 35% of the winter oat crop now in the barn, yields looked close to or slightly above average, ranging from 5-10t/ha, said the report. “Early indications show good, bright samples with acceptable specific weights.”
Oilseed rape yields were also above average, at 3.4-3.6t/ha, but farmers remained disappointed due to the promising prospects before harvest, it added. “Good oil contents of 44-48% are reported, which will help boost farm returns.”