UK Winter Planting Progress

The very dry September allowed good progress to be made with drilling crops for 2010, say ADAS.

All winter oilseed rape crops have now been drilled with the earliest sown crops now well established. Later sown OSR, which went into much drier ground, has struggled to emerge they say.

Winter wheat drilling began in early September followed by winter barley, second wheats and winter oats. An estimated 50—60% of winter cereals were drilled by the end of September, they add.

As with OSR, cereals drilled early into moist seedbeds have emerged and are now at around 1-2 leaf stage. For crops drilled later into dry seed beds emergence is more patchy, they conclude.

Lower fertiliser prices, poor malting barley prices and the prospect of no barley intervention next year could see more wheat and oilseed rape getting planted this winter.

ADAS see UK wheat plantings rising to 2 million hectares from 1.8 million hectares in 2008. OSR area should also increase from 571,700 hectares to 600,000 hectares or more, they say.

Barley plantings will lose out, particularly spring barley which saw an increase of a third this season to 424,400 hectares.

A change EU subsidy rules, aimed at encouraging cultivation of a wider range of crops, which comes into effect in 2010 may also promote a bit of diversification into other protein crops such as peas.