Pleasing winter barley in North East

Winter barley is likely to be the crop of the year in northern England and Scotland, according to Gary Bright at Grainco.

“Some people have done 10t/ha, with a lot above 7.4t/ha,” he said. “Quality is generally pretty good; although there is the odd sample with low bushel weights, we’ve had others in at 74kg/hl.”

Around three quarters of the winter barley had come off dry, with oilseed rape at 6-7% moisture, said Mr Bright. “That must be a first ever for the North East.”

Heavy rain over the weekend had brought harvest to a halt, with about 75-80% of the oilseed rape and most of the wheat still to cut, he added.

See also: World record OSR yield set by Lincs grower.

“Oilseed rape yields have been a bit disappointing – people were quietly hoping for 4.3-4.9t/ha but most have been at 3-3.7t/ha.” Oil contents were mixed, ranging from the low 40s% to 47%.

Most farmers were expecting good wheat yields, which would lower protein contents, said Mr Bright.

“There is a little bit cut, but we need a week of good weather to bring the rest of the crops on. I’m sure people would rather have had the past two weeks of good weather for the wheat harvest.”

Oats had come off reasonably well, with one sample reaching 60kg/hl, he added.

“The biggest problem is moving anything – our main outlet is Ensus and they’ve shut their intake for a while.

“There’s also plenty of imported wheat arriving, as no-one expected the wheat harvest to be so early, so the logistics of moving anything at the moment is challenging.”

With many farmers in need of cash flow, a number taking advance payment on un-priced grain sales, hoping for better prices later in the season, said Mr Bright.