Wet weather frustrates most

Harvest continues to be frustrated by the wet weather across much of the country, although more settled periods are now forecast.

“This should have been the week when we saw harvest really get going in many regions of the UK, but the weather has beaten us,” said Jonathan Lane, trading manager at Gleadell Agriculture.

“We were given one interesting statistic yesterday that summed the situation up very well. Rainfall in north-west Cambridgeshire from 18 February to 18 July was 48mm. On 19 July from 3.30pm to 4.05pm it was 32mm. Nature generally seems to find a way to adjust.”

Yields so far were very good, and most growers were pleasantly surprised, he said.

“We have subsequently revised our crop estimates back up to 2.5m tonnes, giving us a significant exportable surplus.

“However, even with the higher crop, the supply and demand for Europe is still very tight and we still expect to see a draw down in ending stocks that should ultimately support prices.

“But in the short term, especially given the relatively poor carry, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some harvest pressure.”

Harvest in northern France remained at a standstill due to wet weather, and there were some concerns about the impact this had had on grain quality, said Gleadell Agriculture managing director David Sheppard.

“However, conditions remain very supportive for a large EU corn crop.”

Back in the UK, the Met Office forecast more settled weather over the weekend and into next week, which should allow combines to get back out in force.

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