UK harvest 80% done, following 500,000ha push this week

Some 80% of the total UK cereal and oilseed rape area has been harvested according to latest reports from the HGCA.

Despite some disruptions from the rain and cooler temperatures, bright and breezy conditions helped to dry crops, allowing good progress, with over 500,000ha harvested during the week; with most progress in East Midlands and Eastern region, where showers were less frequent.

The HGCA says wheat and spring barley remained the priorities, with some spring oats also harvested. It says harvesting is complete for winter barley and winter oilseed rape.

UK farm yields are typically 10% higher than average and quality is good. There are now reports of some poorer quality grain in the south, where harvest has been delayed by rain, however most crops have been harvested without significant delays.

Winter wheat yield reports continue to be positive, with the majority of farmers reporting yields above the farm average. Current yield estimates from across the regions place the national average yield at 8.3-8.6 t/ha, with 10 t/ha yields common. Spring barley yields continue to be good, with an increasing number of good yields reported from Scotland. The current national yield estimate is 6.0-6.3 t/ha.

According to the HGCA, the continued unsettled conditions, and an unsettled forecast have encouraged more farmers to harvest at higher moisture contents and dry grain rather than risk loss of quality. Farmers are frequently harvesting at 16-18% moisture, with higher levels at the start of the day. In some situations crops up to 25% moisture content are being harvested where there is a back log of crops and risk of decline in quality from further delays.

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