Wheat harvest better than expected.

THIS year’s wheat crop recovered from the spring drought conditions to produce yields largely in line with the five-year average, NFU harvest survey results show.

Preliminary results from the 2011 survey indicated English wheat production would be around 13.6 million tonnes, 189,000 tonnes down on the five-year average. This equates to a drop of 1.5 per cent despite a 3 per cent increase in cropping area to 1.8m ha.

This year’s preliminary yield estimate is 7.5t/ha, fractionally below the five-year average.

However, the figures represent a big turnaround from the NFU’s pessimistic June survey, compiled as fears about the impact of the spring drought, particularly in the east of England, were at their height. The survey, unveiled at the Cereals Event, predicted a 14 per cent drop in average yields to 6.5t/ha, which would have been the lowest level since the 1980’s.

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