Wheat and spring barley harvest gathers pace as quality dips

Better weather saw the winter wheat and spring barley harvest gather pace with an estimated 550,000ha cut in the week to 15 September, but grain quality is suffering from rain-induced delays.

Overall UK harvest progress now stands at 90% of total combinable crop area, with 90% of winter wheat and oats cut and 70% of spring barley combined, according to the latest Adas report.

See also: Warning of high wheat bulb fly pressure in North

However, the later harvested winter wheat crops are starting to show signs of weathering due to the heavy rain in late August and early September, with grain now looking dull and grey.

As a result Hagbergs are starting to fall, although the report suggests this mainly affects feed varieties harvested in the Midlands, and Northern crops are unlikely to be affected having only just reached maturity.

Provisional figures for Group 1 milling wheat indicate that Hagbergs are the lowest in the last three years following a decline in quality over recent weeks. Some unharvested crops are now starting to show signs of sooty moulds and pre-harvest sprouting.

Harvest headlines

  • Winter barley – All of the crop has now been harvested with average yields of 7.2-7.4t/ha, an 11-14% rise on the 10-year average of 6.5t/ha.
  • Winter oilseed rape – 99% done with just small areas left to cut in Scotland. Average yields of 3.6-3.8t/ha, a 6-12% rise on the 10-year average of 3.4t/ha.
  • Winter wheat – 90% of the UK crop has now been cut with mostly Scottish crops left to cut. Average yields stand at 8.5-8.7t.ha. Specific weights remain good at 77kg/hl and milling spec proteins are averaging 12.6%.
  • Spring barley – 70% complete with large amounts still to combine in Scotland. Yields are up 9-13% on the 10-year average at 5.9-6.1t/ha 
  • Oats – 90% cut with most winter crops cut and focus turning to spring oats. Overall yields are averaging 6.1-6.3t/ha but specific weights have been variable.

Find out which wheat and spring barley varieties performed in your nearest Recommended List trials site by visiting our interactive maps for winter wheatwinter barleyspring barley and oilseed rape.

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