Harvest roundup: Tuesday

Farmers are making reasonable progress into winter wheat in the East, but further west rain continues to keep combines at a standstill.

Camgrain had received about 40,000t of wheat so far, and early indications of Group 1 milling quality were excellent, said manager Philip Darke.

Although proteins ranged from 10.5% to 16.6%, they were averaging 13.1%, with good bushelweights and Hagbergs over 300.

Farmers had cut 5-10% of their wheat in Kent, said Grain Harvesters’ Charles Roberts, and quality was reasonable, although he had heard reports of sprouted grains in Sussex.

“It’s early days yet but the weather is not helping. We have had some quite humid weather, which isn’t going to do the wheat any favours.”

Fortunately, the Met Office was forecasting better weather towards the end of the week and for the next 10-14 days, with the South and East set to benefit from the driest and sunniest spells.

In Hampshire, Richard Monk had made a start on his oats, after finishing off the winter barley yesterday (3 August).

“The oats are all standing, and although they are starting to look a bit weathered they should all make seed quality,” he said.

But further west, harvest was progressing very slowly, with almost incessant rain keeping combines at a standstill.

Cannington Grain at Bridgwater had only received 2000t of oilseed rape, 2000t of winter barley and 200t of oats by today – well behind a normal year.

Most cereals were coming in at 17-20% moisture, with rapeseed averaging 13-18% moisture.

In Shropshire, very little had been cut, and a few crops of Alchemy winter wheat were showing signs of sprouting, said Julian Walker of Shropshire Grain.

“There are loads of fields that are just half done.” Winter barley and oilseed rape harvest was only about 25% complete.

Hailstorms had damaged oilseed rape crops in Norfolk, according to agronomist Peter Riley.

“A hailstorm on Thursday knocked 20-30% of about-to-be harvested rapeseed onto the deck – the ground was littered with seed and pod shells.”

However, the storms were quite localised, and after a reasonably dry weekend farmers had cut about 70% of oilseed rape and around 90% of their winter barley, he added.

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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.

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