Good weather has enabled rapid harvest progress in a year that is producing very high yield and quality in most crops.
Some growers have already finished harvesting cereals and the harvest could be 80% complete by next week.
The national harvest was probably around 65% complete on Wednesday but this varies across regions. Some areas across the west, northwest and north are just getting going on spring barley and winter wheat and many crops are still a few days away. Parts of the midlands are closer to 40% complete while some of the earlier eastern regions are close to 80% and will wrap up this week.
The pace of harvesting has resulted in large piles of dry but warm grain in merchants’ yards and some are struggling for space. However, some growers report slow harvest progress in wheat due to green straw in crops where grain is nearing 15% moisture.
Yields from winter wheat and spring barley have mainly been excellent. Growers report few fields below 4t/ac on winter wheat and there are lots of 5t/ac plus crops and a few above 6t/ac. Reported farm averages vary between 4.5 and 5.5 t/ac at low moistures.
Most spring barley crops are so far exceeding 3t/ac. Yields above 4t/ac are relatively frequent, leaving farm averages at between 3 and 3.5t/ac. Acceptance for malting is excellent but there are protein issues.