UK Crops Well Behind Last Year

ADAS is reporting that UK winter grains and oilseeds are generally well behind last season in terms of development.

A combination of late drilling, cloddy soils and colder temperatures, particularly in the north and the west, means that the chances of hitting last season's production levels have been dealt an early blow.

Around 10% of planned winter wheat acreage hasn't even made it into the ground, they say. This coincides with a recenr Farming Online survey.

Only about 20% of wheat crop has started tillering, well behind 50% at the same time last year.

Some planned winter barley acreage also won't make it, and is now likely to be sown in the spring, they say. Around 40% of what has been sown is tillering, just half of the 80% that was tillering twelve months ago.

Winter oats are estimated at 20% tillering, compared to 60% a year ago.

Winter oilseed rape development is very varied, they say, with some crops very small in areas where drilling was delayed or soil conditions poor.

Winter beans have also got off to a poor start, with fewer acres planted than had been anticipated, again largely due to wet conditions.

Throw reduced fertiliser inputs into the equation, due to cost & financial considerations, and we could be looking at significantly lower output in 2009, particularly if Mother Nature doesn't co-operate.