Slowest progress since the start of harvest

Farmers combined the smallest area in the week to Tuesday (13 September) than any other week since 19 July, hampered by strong winds and rain in the North and West.

In total, less than 180,000ha (444,600 acres) was harvested out of the remaining 500,000ha (1.23m acres), said the HGCA’s latest report.

“Conditions in Scotland were particularly difficult, and progress is now the slowest in recent years with over 50% of spring barley and wheat still to harvest.”

There were other hotspots of cereals still to be combined in the South West and west Wales, along with beans, spring oilseed rape and linseed, it added.

In total, farmers had 8% of the combinable crop area left to cut – more than 300,000ha (741,000 acres).

“Of this almost half is spring barley, and a quarter is wheat. Around 70% of the remaining area is in Scotland.”

Wheat harvest was 96% complete, with yields estimated at about 7.6t/ha (3t/acre).

Hagbergs had dropped to an average of 195 seconds this week, but most quality wheats were already in the barn, said the report.

“The majority of the remaining wheat left to harvest is in Scotland (approximately 94,000ha), the South West (37,000ha) and the North East (9,000ha), but there are also pockets in other regions including Wales.”

Spring barley harvest was 97% complete in England and Wales, but just 51% through in Scotland.

Yields were pegged at 5.3t/ha (2.1t/acre), with high specific weights and nitrogen at 2%.

“Recent yields in Scotland have been around farm averages or slightly above, but there are concerns that the recent stormy weather may have reduced yield potential in some exposed fields due to grain shedding and ear loss.”

Farmers had combined 79% of the UK oat area, at an average yield of 5.7t/ha (2.3t/acre), with 72% of spring rapeseed now cut, at about 2.2t/ha (0.9t/acre).

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