Quality deteriorating in Beds

Bedfordshire grower Brian Shaw at Barton Hill Farm, Luton, was over three quarters through harvest with 40% of wheat left to cut. “It was going brilliantly but now it’s a soggy story. We’ve only had one day combining in the last 10 days.”

Quality of remaining crops was deteriorating with sprouting in the ear. In the previous three days, 45mm rain had meant crops were beginning to lodge.

“There are no expectations for much quality now as the rain is pushing the crops over. We’ve lost quality and we’re beginning to lose quantity.”

Mr Shaw said the start of harvest had been easy and quality wheats are in the barn. Yields reflected soil quality with Solstice, Claire and Robigus yielding a good 9-10t/ha (3.6-4t/ac), Einstein at 9t/ha (3.6t/ac) and Malacca 7.5-9t/ha (3-3.6t/ac).

“We thought the best was still to come but it will not be now. It did look very promising but now it has lost its edge.”

Quality of Malacca and Solstice had been good but he said nothing post-rain would have any good quality. “It will be an interesting marketing situation now. The wheat in the barn will now be high quality as millers can’t buy any better.”

Four hundred hectares (1000ac) of second wheats Consort and Robigus remained. He said he was heading for an average to just above average harvest, but he was happy prices were going up.
He added: “Although the sun is shining now, it is a gloomy picture out there.”

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Area: 1000ha (400ac) in total
• Variety: Solstice, Claire, Robigus
• Yield: 9-10t/ha (3.6-4t/ac)

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Area: 1000ha (400ac) in total
• Variety: Einstein
• Yield: 9t/ha (3.6t/ha)

• Crop: Winter wheat
• Area: 1000ha (400ac) in total
• Variety: Malacca
• Yield: 7.5-9 t/ha (3-3.6t/ac)

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