Harvest progress in Great Britain

Updated 10 September 2021
Use our interactive tool below to discover harvest progress across Great Britain. You can also select specific crops, areas and the years you wish to compare at a regional or national level.

Overview

This is the fifth report of the 2021/22 season, with data covering the period 25 August – 07 September 2021.

Over the last fortnight, more settled weather has been welcomed across most of the country. However, conditions have largely been cool, with crops being slow to dry. Morning dews have also worked to slow progress. As a result, roughly 80-90% of crops harvested this period have required drying, with only those cleared in the last few really warm days consistently dropping below 15% moisture. Coastal areas, particularly in the North East, have been affected by heavy dews and sea frets. This has shortened possible harvest windows. Further south, conditions have been better for most. This has allowed good rates of clearance during the period. By the weekend of the 4/5 September, temperatures had risen, allowing good harvest conditions for any remaining crops.

Winter wheat harvest is now drawing to a close in several parts of the UK, now standing at 90% complete. This is almost double the clearance rate quoted a fortnight ago (46%). Now slightly ahead of the five-year average (89%), this follows the slowest start since 2017. At 6-percentage points ahead of progress this time last year, progress now only sits behind 2018 and 2019 at this point since 2015. Harvest of group 1 and 2 wheats had largely been completed before this period, with most of the harvested crops this fortnight group 3 and 4 varieties.

The winter barley harvest is now complete in all regions, as is the winter oilseed rape.

The spring barley harvest has progressed well since the last report and is nearing completion in several regions. Nationally, 85% of the crop is now cleared, some 12-percentage points ahead of the five-year average. This is also the fastest clearance rate at this point in time since at least 2014, ahead of 2019’s rapid progress (83% by week 9 of harvest). The North East has been the last region to start spring barley harvest, with just 5% of the crop cut by this point.

Now the winter oat harvest is complete, the focus has now turned to spring oat varieties over the past fortnight. Combined progress of both winter and spring varieties nationally stands at 77%, slightly back on the five-year average (82%) and only ahead of 2020 (75%) at this point in harvest. Northern regions of England have the highest percentage of crop still to clear, with the North East 18% complete and Yorkshire & The Humber at 44% complete. However, 64% of the Scottish crop has now been cleared, with the largely dry conditions expediting progress.

Harvest progress to 7 September can be summarised as:

Winter wheat – 90% complete. Yields currently estimated at 8.1-8.3t/ha.

Winter barley – 100% complete. Yields currently estimated at 6.9-7.1t/ha.

Spring barley – 85% complete. Early yields currently estimated at 5.8-6.2t/ha.

Oats – 77% complete. Current winter oat yield estimate range is 4.8-8.5t/ha.

Winter OSR – 100% complete. Yields currently estimated at 3.3-3.5t/ha.

How to use the dashboard

  • Use the drop down menus at the top of the dashboard to select a harvest week and crop. This will allow you to view the national harvested area for that crop (top chart) as well as a regional breakdown (right-hand chart). National quality and yield information (left-hand table) is also available for all crops alongside harvest progress comments (map). The line chart tracks national harvest progress, for the selected crop, compared to previous years.
  • Use the drop down menus at the top of the second chart to view the harvest progress, of a particular crop, throughout the season.

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