A new survey by the AHDB/HGCA has suggested the 2014 planted area for wheat could increase by as much as 22%, following the drop seen this season.The Early Bird Survey of farmers’ planting intention revealed a sharp rise in the total area of wheat and winter barley for next year’s harvest, compared to the last.A team of agronomists assessed 280,000 hectares of arable land across Great Britain and have estimated that the total wheat area, including spring wheat, will rise to approximately 1.98m hectares.Jack Watts, lead analyst, AHDB/HGCA, said: “This autumn we’ve had good drilling conditions across the UK and, as a consequence, we are looking at a return to a more normal cropping mix for harvest 2014 following a large shift to spring cropping in 2013.“The return of a more normal UK wheat area is the first step to the UK returning to the export market, although yields and quality remain weather-dependent. History shows that when farmers are able to turn intentions into reality, the Early Bird Survey gives a good indication of areas for key autumn sown crops in the UK.”In March British Baker reported that the planted area for winter wheat was down 25% on December 2011 figures.The results of the AHDB/HGCA’s December Planting Survey, issued on 1 December, will be published in February 2014.
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has hailed the team’s Jamaican-born safety, Patrick Chung, as one of the top players in the NFL.He made the remarks to US media after being asked about Chung’s versatility ahead of the Patriots’ AFC championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.“Chung, I’ve talked about Chung a lot. The guy is a really good football player. He’s one of the best players in the league, one of the best players on our team,” Belichick was quoted by Yahoo Sports as saying.“He does a lot of things very well and has done them that way for a long time. We’re lucky we have him. He’s an outstanding player in all the things that he does. We put a lot on him, and he always comes through,” Belichick added.The Patriots came back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Florida’s Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 to win the AFC Championships. The team will now go in search of its the sixth title when they face off against the NFC Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl on February 4.Chung, who already has two Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, is the son of Jamaican singer Sophia George, best known for the 1980s hit ‘Girlie Girlie’.
He strained his calf on August 5 in his first training session back following the Copa America and subsequently missed the club’s pre-season.It would be a surprise if Messi started at Camp Nou, but Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde will be eager to have his star available again, particularly after his team suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat by Athletic Bilbao in their opening league game last weekend.Messi’s absence has been compounded by injuries to other strikers.Luis Suarez is expected to be out for around a month after hobbling off with a calf problem against Bilbao. Ousmane Dembele injured his hamstring and will need five weeks to recover.Antoine Griezmann, the 120 million summer signing from Atletico Madrid, is the only fully-fit forward, with Rafinha and 21-year-old Carles Perez possible options to play behind him.The shortage up front has intensified speculation that Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar could return to Barcelona before the transfer window closes in Spain on September 2.PSG sporting director Leonardo admitted earlier this month that the club were in “advanced negotiations” to sell Neymar but a deal is yet to be agreed with Barca, who have already spent around 250 million euros this summer.0Shares0000(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Lionel Messi could be in the Barcelona squad to face Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday. © AFP/File / Josep LAGOMADRID, Spain, Aug 21 – Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a timely boost on Wednesday by returning to training with the rest of the squad after a calf injury.Messi trained alone in the morning before joining his team-mates in the afternoon, increasing hopes that Barca’s captain could play a role against Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday.