Still only halfway through

Harvest has reached its halfway point, with farmers having cut 350,000ha in the week to 28 August, according to the latest ADAS report.

Wheat harvest had made good progress, with 40% of the total area now cut. Yields were still below average, but varying from 5–10.7t/ha.

Specific weights were low too, typically below 70kg/hl, and although Hagberg falling numbers were holding up they were lower than usual, said the report.

“There was some good progress with harvest in the drier counties in the East Midlands, Eastern region and the South East.

“But progress is being hindered in-field by high volumes of straw with significant green material, slowing harvester speeds, causing blockages and additional work to dry straw before clearing from the field,” it added.

A slow start to the spring barley harvest meant that only 40% of the crop had been cut in the East and West, with around 10% cut in Scotland.

“This is the latest harvest for spring barley in recent years,” said the report.

”Across GB an estimated 25% of spring barley is now harvested which compares to a 6 year average of 70% at the end of August.”

Yields varied ranging from 4.5t to 7.5t/ha, although specific weights were low.

Nitrogen content was also variable, but was generally within specification. However, some crops had been rejected due to germination problems.

Winter barley harvest was drawing to a close, with 97% of the crop cut, leaving around 20,000ha to do.

“In most cases crops on light land have yielded over the (five-year) average at 6.5-6.7 t/ha.”

Bushel weights stood between 62-64 kg/hl, with moisture contents between 17% and 20%.

Winter oilseed rape harvest was also near completion, with 95% of the GB area now harvested and only small areas left in northern and western regions and parts of Scotland.

Yields had been good, ranging from 2t to 5.2t/ha, with oil contents slightly down at 40-45%.

Winter oats had also started to be cut, with 37% of the GB area complete. Yields ranged between 5.1t and 8.7t/ha with the UK five-year average at 5.6t/ha.

“Winter oat yields are quite variable but in the main are lower than average due low sunlight and higher levels of lodging than in recent years,” said the report.

“Specific weights are low, ranging from 44-53kg/hl.”

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