Our recent survey of winter cereal growers recorded good planting progress up the country, but nearly 20% of respondents had little or none of their intended winter crop area planted at that time.
The hope was that there would be further opportunities in the second half of October, but, alas, that did not happen, especially across the south of the country, where total rainfall levels for the month were up on double their monthly average level, with 2in to 3in in many areas the past week alone.
It seems unlikely that much or any further planting will be done at this stage, but stranger things have happened.
The major results of the planting progress survey are shown in the graphics below.
Most respondents came from the bigger tillage counties, with roughly one third of growers farming 50ha or less of tillage.
When the survey was taken, roughly 80% of respondents had more than 60% of their intended winter crop area planted and almost 60% were in the last one-fifth of their intended area.
The results showed that there had been greater progress up along the east coast and there was an amount of further planting done in that region since then, as rainfall amounts were lower.
The results confirmed rumours that winter barley area seemed set to decrease, while growers intended to plant increased areas of oilseed rape and beans for the coming season.
It also seems that spring barley area will increase to take up the remainder on the winter barley decrease.