Harvest now 45% complete, says HGCA

Harvest progress in the week to 12 August slowed to half the rate of the previous week, with heavy showers meaning farmers only managed to combine 320,000ha.

However, that still put the national harvest progress at 45% complete, with winter barley and oilseed rape harvest nearly finished, and 30% of winter wheat crops now in the barn.

“Any crops harvested after the rain have been harvested at moisture contents over 14%, and as a result, most samples harvested towards the end of the period have required drying,” said the latest HGCA / ADAS harvest report.

“Yields to date are good (averaging 8-8.2t/ha), with most crops yielding above the farm average.”

Although no data was available for crops harvested after the rain, milling wheat samples continued to suffer from low protein contents, ranging from 9% to 13.5% and averaging 12%.

See also: Unprecedented levels of ergot threaten wheat quality.

Spring barley harvest was about 20% complete by 12 August, and yields were promising at an average of 5.9-6.1t/ha so far, said the report.

“Grain nitrogen contents are variable, although most are achieving contract specifications.”

Despite the heavy rain, there had only been a small increase in lodging, with about 4% of the total UK area affected – similar to the percentage of winter oats that had gone down.

Oat harvest remained extremely early, with half of the crop now in the barn and yields slightly above the five-year average of 5.7t/ha. “Early samples look bright and clean with good specific weights.”

Winter barley yields were well above average, at 7.2-7.4t/ha, while oilseed rape yields were slightly better than normal, at 3.4-3.6t/ha.