21 August 2001
Harvest latest: Quality fears subside
By Tom Allen-Stevens and Tom Hood
COMBINES are storming through the remainder of the UK wheat crop in the first real break in the weather for over two weeks.
“Farmers are just relieved to see a harvesting window,” Owen Cligg of Wessex Grain told FARMERS WEEKLY on Tuesday (21 August).
Initial fears that quality of prime milling wheats has taken a hit appear to be unfounded. Growers who have sampled have found results promising.
“The quality milling wheat is holding up,” says Mr Cligg. He has seen samples of Rialto with a Hagberg of 110.
Malacca, Hereward and Soissons, however, are at about 250. Protein varies between 11.5-14%. “There is some real variation.”
Quality has also been impressive for Roger Ward, reporting to the FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Hotline. He farms at Kelshall near Royston.
The first field of Malacca had 12.6% protein, but the subsequent ones have 13-14% protein. The Hagbergs are all over 350.
But yield is not so good, with Claire yielding 1.5t/ha and Consort 0.8t/ha below average.
Tony Wright, manager for De Monfort University Farms, north of Lincoln also reports yield below average on Malacca, but quality holding well.
And Andrew Symonds, farming with his brother Tony near Stourport-on-Severn, says the same of his Rialto.
Meanwhile, northern grower Keith Snowball, from Bransbury near York reports better than average yields for Claire and Malacca on clay-sand loam.
Localised storms over the weekend mean he is combining at 20% moisture, but the Met Office reports that most of the UK is now dry, sunny and warm.
The last of the heavy rain, in Scotland and Northern Ireland is due to dry out overnight.
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