The start of the UK wheat harvest is estimated to be two weeks behind normal, according to the latest Arable Crop Report by ADAS.

The June 2013 report, prepared for the AHDB/HGCA, said the development of UK wheat crops was 10-14 days behind normal, and that they were at a wide range of development stages due to the extended planting season.

“Winter crops are now approaching the start of the important grain fill period, but they are still 10-14 days behind a normal year, indicating a late harvest,” it said.

Weather in June was dry overall, with an average rainfall of 30mm – 65% of normal. However, there were some heavy localised thunderstorms, and cloud also prevailed, with only around 60% of normal sunshine levels.

However, in general ADAS said crop condition had improved on last month and spring crops had established well.

“Crop condition assessments suggest that 85% of wheat, 95% of other cereals and 70% of oil seed rape crops are in fairly good condition, although there are some significant geographical changes. How this translates into yield will be dependent on the weather in the next six to eight weeks,” it reported.

In terms of the crop condition of UK wheat, only 4% was deemed very poor as of the end of June, 11% was poor, 28% fair, 41% good and 16% excellent.

Pest and disease levels also remained low, although unsettled weather at ear emergence increased the risk of fusarium ear blight, and mildew levels have increased in some crops.