Wheat production down for 2009 as weather takes its toll

THE latest results of the NFU’s harvest survey show wheat production is down on the five year average.

With area and average yield down, production is expected to be around 12.9 million tonnes for the year – around three million tonnes down on last year.

That figure will also be down on the five year average by some one million tonnes after poor autumn planting conditions and difficult growing conditions throughout the season.

NFU combinable crops chairman Ian Backhouse said: “With a difficult autumn planting in 2008 after one of the wettest summers on record, a very dry spring and delays to ripening and harvest by yet more summer rains in 2009, farmers overcame a challenging season and crops bounced back.

“Second wheat was affected most by the poor growing conditions but first wheat yields were better then anticipated and have partly compensated.

“Quality is reported as good, particularly in first wheats with reasonable protein levels and good specification achieved by wheat growers across the country.”

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