The UK winter barley crop is set to match last year’s record yields, despite a slow start to the harvest due to late ripening.
The UK agricultural consultancy Adas forecast 2015 UK winter barley yields at 7.0-7.2 tonnes per hectare, compared to the 10 year average yield of 6.5 tonnes per hectare, well above official EU forecasts.
Last year UK winter barley yields reached a record 7.2 tonnes a hectare.
The positive outlook for yields comes despite a delayed start to the UK barley harvest, due to the slow ripening of the crop.
The harvest began in earnest after July 15, but heavy rainfall from July 24 slowed harvesting in many areas.
By 28 July Adas estimates that 30% of winter barley was harvested
“This is a relatively late and slow start to winter barley harvest compared to the earliest recent harvest,” said Adas.
‘Clean and bright’
Preliminary yield data from the harvest has shown yields ranging between 5.7-10.5 tonnes per hectare.
Of farms surveyed, Adas reports that crops have yielded “about 10%, sometimes more, above the farm average”.
Adas also said that early quality indications were good with “clean and bright samples”.
However, the consultancy warned that “less bright” samples were expected in coming weeks, to rain which caused delays in harvesting.
France matches last year
In the July 27 Mars crop report, released by the EU’s crop monitoring body, UK winter barley yields were forecast at 6.61 tonnes a hectare, down 8.4% from 2014 yields, which Mars saw at 7.22 tonnes a hectare, although 0.6% above the five year average.
But Mars was more upbeat on winter barley yields in France, despite a spell of hot dry weather.
Barley yields in France were seen in line with last year at 6.88 tonnes per hectare, 5.8% above the five year average.
“The yield forecasts for crops harvested in late June – early July… are maintained above last year’s yields as ripening and harvesting conditions were good” Mars said,
Falling German hopes
However, falling yield hopes in Germany and elsewhere led Mars to trim its forecast for overall European winter barley yields to 5.58 tonnes per hectare, from the 5.60 tonnes per hectare predicted last month.
This leaves yields 5.6% below last year, but still 4.3% up from the five-year average.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/uk-winter-barley-crop-set-to-match-last-years-record-yields–8634.html)