Rains Hamper U.K. Harvest as Less Than 1% Wheat Collected

Rains in the week ended Aug. 7 impeded harvest progress in the U.K., where crops have been collected on less than 1 percent of the wheat area, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said.

The bulk of the wheat harvest likely will be under way in the next one to two weeks, the Kenilworth, England-based researcher’s grain unit said today in an e-mailed report. Progress is behind the five-year average. It’s too soon to estimate yields or quality of crops, and early results have been “highly variable,” AHDB said.

Harvesting “has been interrupted by regular, often heavy showers,” AHDB said. “These have reduced harvesting time on affected farms with some only managing to harvest for a couple of hours on two to three days.”

Wet weather has increased the prevalence of plant diseases, and crops are at a “moderate to high” risk of developing mycotoxins linked to fusarium, a fungus, AHDB said. Mycotoxins are chemicals that can be harmful to humans and animals. Rainfall in the week ended Aug. 7 averaged 19 millimeters (0.7 inches), with the highest totals in northwestern parts of the country, AHDB said.

About 60 percent of winter barley fields have been harvested, with progress nearing completion in the south, AHDB said. The harvest is still about 10 percent behind normal. Yields are near the five-year average of about 6.2 metric tons to 6.4 tons per hectare (2.47 acres). Less than 1 percent of spring barley has been collected, “well behind” the five-year average.

Almost 35 percent of the winter rapeseed area has been harvested, including more than 100,000 hectares in the past week, AHDB said. Yields have been about 3.4 tons to 3.6 tons per hectare, “close to or slightly above” the five-year average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net

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