Slow in Shropshire

Harvest is going very slowly in Shropshire and the west midlands, with just 30% of the wheat cut so far.

However, crops were only just ripe, so were not at risk of losing Hagbergs yet, said Julian Walker at Shropshire Grain.

“It’s not coming to any harm yet – and the forecast is good for the weekend.

“It doesn’t take many bright days to get through it, so it could be a very different picture this time next week. That said, it wouldn’t want another wet week.”

Farmers would have cut milling wheat first, and quality was extremely good, he added.

“All the milling wheat is making milling grade, and there are some exceptional feed wheats with very good bushelweights.”

Yields were slightly better than average, but down on the last two year’s bumper crops.

“Good wheat ground has produced very good crops – and protein contents are generally higher than usual.”

Farmers only finished off oilseed rape harvest in the past week, said Mr Walker. “It was very late.

“But yields were spectacular – 5t/ha (2t/acre) seems quite common, which we’ve never had before. Oil contents are reasonably good, too.”

Overall, harvest was about 40% complete, he said. “One or two well equipped farmers have pretty well finished, but they are the exception – some haven’t even begun wheat.”

Trade had dropped to a standstill, with about half the crop already sold. “A lot of the as-available supplies are not yet available, which has perked up the spot trade.

“Wheat for immediate movement wouldn’t be worth any more for October or even November.”

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