Jim Whiteford is delighted with yields at Shandwick Mains, Tain, Inverness, but poor weather has put a damper on harvest progress.

“The weather has been pretty broken for the past 10 days, but we managed to get on combining yesterday (19 August) at 21% moisture,” he said.

“We’ve cut 73ha of Concerto spring barley, and although it hasn’t been weighed yet it is looking like it’s doing over 7.4t/ha, which is incredible.”

The 16ha of Escadre winter barley also produced huge yields, of almost 9.9t/ha, while 24ha of Troy oilseed rape came off at 4.2t/ha. “That’s one of our better yields, so we’re really delighted.”

See also: Keep crop evidence to prove compliance with EU rules, warns Defra.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Spring barley
  • Variety: Concerto
  • Area: 73ha
  • Yield: 7.4t/ha

Unfortunately, the heavy rain and high winds had knocked the spring barley over, so combining was slow going, said Mr Whiteford.

“The colour has washed out as well, but the quality is still there. We’re also going slowly to keep pace with the driers.”

With decent weather forecast, he expected to start combining winter wheat this weekend.

“Some of the Leeds has toppled over and is very flat, but the Viscount is standing well. It’s been quite cool so there’s no sprouting in the ear yet.

“The problem is that everything is ready at the same time – whether it’s wheat or barley, at sea level or on the hill.”

Despite having started winter barley harvest on 18 July – the earliest ever start and seven to 10 days ahead of normal, the wet weather had slowed harvest progress dramatically, added Mr Whiteford.

“We’re now almost back on par with a normal year.”