Yields above average as harvest nears completion

Yields are above average in cereal and winter oilseed rape crops this season with harvest almost complete, says the latest HGCA report.

Measured across a 10-year average, some crops have produced close to 1t/ha extra yield after being aided by good crop establishment, adequate moisture through the spring and summer and plentiful sunshine during grain fill.

See also: Highest wheat yields on record thanks to ‘perfect’ weather

Settled summer weather allowed farmers to make one of the earliest starts to harvest in recent years and despite mixed conditions in August, combining was virtually complete by 23 September.

Quality was generally good, with wheat showing good specific weights and Hagbergs, although average grain protein levels were low at 11.3%.

Wheat has performed particularly well this year with average yields of 8.4-8.6t/ha being nearly 1t/ha more than the 10-year average yield of 7.7t/ha.

Winter barley has done similarly well with the estimated national average yield reaching 7.2-7.4t/ha compared to the 6.4t/ha 10-year average.

Spring barley, meanwhile, has jumped from an average yield of 5.4t/ha to between 6t/ha and 6.3t/ha.

Oats registered a small increase in yield beating the 10-year average of 5.7t/ha with an average of 5.9-6.1t/ha, while oilseed rape peaked just above the 10-year national average of 3.3t/ha by reaching between 3.3-3.6t/ha.

The high average yields mean the UK could also be on course for producing a potential 16.7m tonnes of wheat this year from 1.96m hectares, which would be one of the highest on record.

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