Ideas of the quality, and quantity, of the UK wheat crop deteriorated further, even as the pace of harvest picked up somewhat, helped by a drier start to autumn following the wettest summer in 100 years.
Farmers have seen wheat deliveries refused for high counts of DON, or toxic fungal residues, which have proved surprisingly low given the extent of fusarium infections encouraged by the wet weather.
"There are now some reports of rejections as a result of grain loads exceeding maximum DON levels," consultancy Adas said.
And the group warned of a further drop in the specific weight of wheat as harvest heads into areas growing greater proportions of feed wheat, after results from milling wheat regions in the south which indicated a reading of 71.9 kilogrammes per hectolitre – the worst since at least 1976.
"Recent quality reports indicate that specific weights continue to be lower than in recent years typically ranging from 60-72 kilogrammes per hectolitre, with some lower specific weights being reported from the north and west," Adas said.
"Quality remains an issue, especially specific weight," which in measuring the weight of grain per given volume, in essence gives a reading of the proportion of shrivelled kernels.
On yield, Adas trimmed its estimate of the average result too, from at best 7.5 tonnes per hectare to a maximum of 7.4 tonnes per hectare.
"Recent yields from the higher-yielding feed varieties have been variable but tend to support lower-than-average yields," Adas said.
While yields on light land "are tending to be better than farm averages, those on heavier land are often disappointing".
Harvesting vs sowing
However, the picture was "not entirely clear" given that farmers had harvested only 55% of the crop, as of Tuesday, down from an average of 85% by now.
This was despite a pick-up to 400,000 hectares in the area of overall crops harvested during the previous week, from 350,000 hectares the week before.
With the "prospect of more settled weather" ahead, the pace of wheat harvesting is expected to continue to improve, although some growers are using the drier spell as an opportunity to let crops dry out before harvesting, and sowing some of their 2013 crops in the meantime.
"A forecast of improving weather conditions has reduced pressure to harvest in less-than-ideal conditions. Some farmers have given priority to sowing oilseed rape."