Farmers in the Inverness area have still got about 5% of their winter wheat and spring barley to cut, according to Simon Barry at Highland Grain.
“That hasn’t changed for over a week, because of the wet weather.
“Unfortunately, the quality is going to be questionable as far as malting is concerned. I would think it will now end up as feed.”
Wheat quality was holding up better, he said. “The forecast is better, but it’s very cold so it’s not good drying weather. Farmers will now get what they can, given any opportunity.”
Generally, crop quality before the rain was very good. “There’s been a bit of skinning, in Oxbridge in particular, but it didn’t get any worse – it sort of plateaued.”
Progress in Sutherland was similar, but farmers in Caithness and Aberdeenshire still had plenty left to cut, he added.
Malting premiums could therefore come under upward pressure. “I think 40-50% of the spring barley in those areas would have been destined for malting.
“If there’s 30% still to do, that’s a substantial tonnage, and it could make a difference to premiums.
“However, the malsters may feel there’s enough good quality malting barley in England that they could export up here.”