Yield worries grow as harvesting begins at last
Some two weeks behind a normal season, harvesting has started in the earlier parts of England. Looking forward to this year’s crop, Jack Watts, from the Home Grown Cereals Authority, said that there was great uncertainty about how yields would turn out.
“Weather for developing crops has been poor over recent weeks, with low sunshine levels and high rainfall during the critical grain filling period.
The HGCA survey shows the total UK area for wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape (OSR) at 3,810,000 hectares, up 3 per cent on 2011 and similar to levels last seen in 2008.
The total UK barley area for harvest 2012 is estimated to be up 5 per cent on 2011 at 986,000 hectares. This is historically low and remains beneath the one million hectares mark that was common place pre-2005 and seen again in 2008 and 2009. Some 67 per cent of the UK area is estimated to be planted to malting type varieties and almost half the total acreage is grown in Scotland.
The UK wheat area for harvest 2012 is estimated to be just over two million hectares, up 2 per cent on 2011 and the highest level since 2008. But in Scotland, the wheat area is estimated to be 6 per cent lower than the record 115,000 hectares planted for harvest 2011.
The UK oat area for harvest 2012 is estimated at 110,000 hectares, up 4 per cent on 2011. However, despite being higher than 2011, the area is historically low.
The UK OSR area for harvest 2012 is estimated to be 712,000 hectares, up 5 per cent on 2011 and a new record. This, Watts notes, is the second consecutive year the crop has posted a record area as strong global oilseed prices has made OSR increasingly competitive against other break crops as well as cereals.
However, the record area of 2012 may not translate into record production as crops have been subjected to poor weather conditions in recent weeks.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West