Little left in the North

Harvest in the North East of England and Scottish Borders is almost complete, with just a few parcels of spring barley, spring rape and winter wheat left to gather.

“The weather has been holding very well, and compared to recent harvests, it’s been very pleasant,” said Gary Bright, managing director at Grainco.

However, yields were nothing to write home about, with wheat at 6.2-7.4t/ha and barley around 6.2t/ha, he added.

“But we have to remember that, earlier in the year, a lot of farmers wondered if they would have a crop to cut at all, so even though yields are poor and markets are going the wrong way – it could be worse.”

Quality was generally good, with high bushel weights across the board, said Mr Bright.

But milling wheat protein contents were a bit low, and spring barley nitrogen contents were high, at 1.85-1.9%.

“Given there is so much barley around, those samples will probably end up as feed – it’s the first year I can remember when farmers have delivered more barley than wheat into the store; to the tune of 2000t.”

Drilling conditions were the best for many years, so farmers were very busy with fieldwork, he added.

“Flying into Newcastle airport, it’s a very different scene to last year, when there was masses of flooding and vehicles stuck in the mud.”

But grain markets were at something of an impasse, with buyers fairly confident of a falling market, and sellers busy with fieldwork. “There’s very little activity or movement in price – the markets are very dull right now.”

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