Winter wheat will get a premium this autumn
Spring wheat and even some spring barley was planted during the few weeks of good weather in late February and early March.
Much of the tillage work during this good dry spell consisted of ploughing, but it was evident, from driving the roads that much of this ploughing turned up soil that was less than ideal for working.
Soil conditions were just starting to improve when the frost and snow came and delayed work.
It is important that soil is only worked when in good condition and when weather conditions allow, because the yield penalty from working ground in poor conditions is substantial and will only lead to financial losses.
There is still time to sow spring wheat and oats. However, if soil conditions are poor, a further delay in planting is recommended.
This will lead to a further increase in spring barley planting, which will probably mean a record production of this crop.
There is no doubt that there will be a price premium for wheat next harvest, considering the reduction in winter wheat sown. In early ripening areas, some growers may be tempted to sow spring wheat late and this might be a reasonable option.
Spring rape is also a good option for a number of growers, considering that forward prices remain strong at over €400/t and good yields of up to 3.65t/ha are achievable if the crop is sown in March. Delaying sowing well into April will still give reasonable yields.