Harvest round-up: Above average yields and progress

Harvest is now more than 10% complete, according to the latest HGCA / ADAS crop report, with 35% of winter barley and 45% of oilseed rape now in the barn.

“Winter barley yields look promising, with some very good yields from the better fields growing feed varieties,” said the report. “To date, yields in most regions have been 5-20% above average, with the national average estimated at 7-7.2t/ha.”

Specific weights were a little lower than normal in the South West and Yorkshire, but were averaging about 65kg/hl overall. “Grain nitrogen contents are acceptable at 1.5-1.8%.”

Oilseed rape harvest was well ahead of normal, and yields were above average at 3.4-3.6t/ha, based on crops in the South, said the report.

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“Yields to date range from 2.2t to 5.2t/ha – possibly not as high as farmers had expected, given large canopies and plenty of moisture,” it added.

On ‘virgin’ oilseed rape land, crops were achieving yields of over 5t/ha, but where rotations were tighter yields were lower at 3-4t/ha.

“Seeds are on the small side, and there are also occasional reports of red seeds in the sample.” Oil contents were reasonably high, at 42-46% and most crops had been harvested dry.

With a tiny percentage of wheat cut, it was too early to estimate yields, said the report.

“Crops remain in good condition heading towards harvest.  There are some white heads in crops, most of which is fusarium, but there is also some take-all showing.

“Lodging is present in some fields, predominantly on fertiliser overlaps and where too much N was applied.”

Spring barley and winter oat harvest was about a week to 14 days off, and crops were ripening well.

However, there was some lodging, with about 2% of the oat area affected, it added. “Crops in Yorkshire were particularly badly affected, with an estimated 10% of the regional area lodged.”

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