Wheat quality mixed, says Openfield

Wheat harvest is about 70% complete across England, and Hagbergs have dropped sharply this week, according to Openfield’s Mark Worrell.

“Wheat quality is a mixed bag – we are very happy with the quality pre-rain, but post-rain it is very variable, depending on location and variety.”

The South West had been worst affected, with Hagbergs falling as low as 60-70, he said.

“But we are very pleasantly surprised by the quality in Yorkshire.”

In the South East, most milling wheat had been cut before the rain, and further north it was less ripe, and therefore less prone to sprouting. Hard wheat had also fared better than soft wheat varieties.

Farmers with crops which had deteriorated were tending to let fields dry naturally before combining, rather than spend money on drying grain, he added.

“But people were combining in some style yesterday (31 August), and, weather permitting, they should have made a good hole in it by the weekend.

“We’ll have a far better picture by this time next week.”

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