Wheat yields decline further, says ADAS

Farmers cut almost 300,000ha of crops in the week to Tuesday (18 September), bringing total harvest progress to just over 90% complete.

Despite ongoing showers in the north of England and Scotland, harvest progress was now only just behind the six-year average, according to the latest ADAS survey.

But while farmers in the south were pretty much finished, there was still plenty of wheat and barley to harvest further north, it said.

Winter wheat harvest was about 95% complete, with later yields proving even worse than the earlier ones. This had led ADAS to cut its yield estimate to 6.9-7.2t/ha.

Specific weights were typically below 70kg/hl – although milling wheat in the North was proving better than southern crops.

“Most milling crops in the northern regions are still achieving specification,” said the report.

“Low specific weights mean that yield estimates based on crop volume often over-estimate the true yield, so the final UK average yield may be at the lower end of the range.”

Spring barley harvest was 85% complete across Britain, and three-quarters done in Scotland, it added.

“Yields are below average at 4.9-5.2t/ha, with specific weights low at 62kg/hl and grain nitrogen at 1.4-1.6%.”

Farmers had also cut about 80% of their oats, with yields close to average at 5.6t/ha but specific weights also low, at 52kg/hl.

Winter barley and rapeseed crops were all done, with yields slightly above average at about 6.6t/ha and 3.5t/ha, respectively, said the report.

Spring rapeseed crops were about 80% cut, with low yields of 1.9t/ha. “The majority of the remaining area is in the north of England and Scotland, and much of this area is not yet ready for desiccation, let alone harvest.

“Where there have been strong winds and rain any remaining crops are susceptible to seed shed.”

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