Harvest 2023 - the grains so far

  • Home
  • Harvest 2023 - the grains so far!

With harvest coming to a close for 2023, we would like to share data of the samples that we have received so far.

The GB 2023 harvest started well, although slower compared to the lightening quick start last year. Due to increased rainfall in the first weeks of cutting, progress was delayed slightly but in the latter weeks picked up due to sunny spells and low rainfall. As of week 12 (week ending 26th Sept) of the harvest, AHDB report #6 indicates that winter wheat and winter barley are 100% complete. The report also highlights spring barley is 99% complete with only a handful of fields remaining in Scotland and North England.

Drilling for the next winter crops started in mid-September, although progress has been slow due to wet conditions in most regions.


Average yields of wheat have shown to be good this year, ranging from 5 -12.5 t/ha (AHDB Report #6). Looking at protein levels for wheat in 2023, data is similar to 2022, increasing by 0.1%, however the data set is not yet complete and these results are based on relatively few, early harvested samples. Wider industry data suggests that protein is down this year compared to last, with significant regional variation so it will be interesting to see how this changes as samples continue to be analysed.

Generally, it seems that protein is tending to decline over the last 5 years. 

Figure 1. Average Wheat Protein (2019 - 2023)
 Average wheat protein (2019-2023)

*Incomplete data set for 2023
 †Average excludes Scotland

Unsurprisingly, moisture content has was much higher this year than last, although it is back in line with historic 5-year data, above 13% and averaging 13.6%. Some areas and individual samples have shown higher moisture (between 14-15%) due to some extra rainfall in certain regions. Our average based on samples received so far shows normal levels of moisture content (Figure 2). It could be possible that results we have seen for moisture to date may not be representative of what is in grain stores across the UK currently as samples could have been sent before or after the drying process.

Figure 2. Average Wheat Moisture (2019 - 2023)

Average wheat moisture (2019-2023)*Incomplete data set for 2023
 †Average excludes Scotland


Data for barley this year also indicates good yields, ranging from 6.2 – 9 t/ha depending on spring or winter varieties (AHDB Report #6). Our current results show protein to be 0.2% higher than last year, but from 2020 barley protein has been tending to decrease similarly to wheat. For 2023, currently barley protein is averaged at 9.4% from our results (Figure 3). However, these results are based on relatively few samples so liable to change as more results are received.

Figure 3. Average Barley Protein (2019 - 2023)

Average barley protein (2019-2023)

*Incomplete data set for 2023
 †Average excludes Scotland

Barley moisture content, like wheat, is back to more comparable levels with previous years, showing levels averaging at 13.4% compared to a dry 12% of 2022. Grain driers have likely seen more action this year compared to last, especially in certain regions where there has been extra rainfall during the last few weeks of harvest (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Average Barley Moisture (2019 - 2023)
Average barley protein (2019-2023) *Incomplete data set for 2023
 †Average excludes Scotland

Results for the full harvest will be published over the coming weeks once all analysis has been completed. The data used here is only our data and in the wider industry results may differ, so may not give a representative example and should be interpreted with a degree of caution.

We would like to acknowledge our customers who have submitted samples which form the basis of this survey.