Cereal growers have taken full advantage of the latest dry spell to make significant inroads with the 2022 grain harvest.
In the southeast of NI, reports indicate that harvesting of winter wheat is more or less complete while combines are at an advanced stage with spring barley.
It’s a similar picture in the northwest, as farmers finish up winter wheat although spring barley is still a couple of weeks off ripening.
The recent heatwave has presented ideal harvesting conditions and with wheat being combined at just over 12% moisture content, drying costs have been eliminated.
However, the downside of combining grain at 12% to 13% moisture, compared to 15% at the outset of the harvest, is the physical loss in grain yield.
With a reduced tonnage per acre harvested, some farmers estimate their income could be down by as much as £50 to £60/acre.
Price reports for barley are that between £240 and £250/t was paid off the combine, up from the £180 to £190/t last year, with dried prices around the £270 to £275/t mark.
Prices on feed grade wheat are limited, but some reports are pushing above £260/t off the combine, with dried milling wheat around £290/t.
Round bales of barley straw are generally trading around £18 to £19 before transport charges apply, which will add £3 to £5 per bale depending on distance.
Square bales are generally up £10 year on year, with 8x4x3 bales costing in the region of £40 collected in the field, with 8x4x4 bales around £60 to £63.