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Excellent yields near Turriff

Sandy Norrie still has 405ha of winter wheat left to cut at Muirden Farm, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, and has had excellent yields all round.

“The winter barley was very pleasing. In some areas we saw yields make 8t/ha while another field of Meridian reached 12.4t/ha,” he said.

Of the top three winter barley varieties harvested this year, Volume was the most consistent at 9.8t/ha. Most of the Meridian and Glacier averaged 11.3t/ha. 

“Straw quality was also excellent, with some areas difficult to combine due to the quantity of straw,” he added.

Crop facts

  • Crop: Winter oilseed rape
  • Varieties: Cracker and Anastasia
  • Area: 384ha
  • Yield: 4.6-5.4t/ha

The 384ha of winter oilseed rape also exceeded expectations at an average of 4.6t/ha. In one area Anastasia reached 5.4t/ha. 

See also: CAP reform can prompt environmental improvements.

“There have been significant issues with clubroot in the area but we’ve been very lucky, from when we put in in last year right through to harvest,” said Mr Norrie.

“We didn’t have a bad winter and conditions were excellent when it came to putting it through the combine.”

Mr Norrie was still in the early stages of the winter wheat harvest. Of the wheat cut so far, Viscount had yielded 9.4t/ha while Riband came in at 9.6t/ha. The star performer of the year was 20ha of Beluga at 11.1t/ha.  

“We’re getting the combine around the wheat as it becomes ready to cut,” he said. “In the meantime, we’re also getting everything ready for next year.”

Mr Norrie already had already put in 404ha of oilseed rape, split between Anastasia, Mentor and Amalie.

“We’re hoping to get the winter barley in next week as well as getting the winter wheat cut,” he said. “It’s all fingers crossed for a good few weeks to come.”

Excellent yields near Turriff

Sandy Norrie is having an excellent harvest at A J Duncan’s Muirden Farm, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, having cut more than three-quarters of the combinable crops.

Above-average yields across the board, combined with decent harvesting weather, were making this year an absolute pleasure, he said.

“It’s like chalk and cheese compared to last year – we’re combining at 16-17% moisture compared to 36-37% last year. And we’re a good four weeks ahead.”

Anything drilled early had yielded well, although later-sown crops were not as good, said Mr Norrie. “The flowering and grain fill period was absolutely ideal – we couldn’t have asked for better.”

Having finished all the Cracker oilseed rape, he was pleased with an average yield of 4.2t/ha. “This year, we’re planting more conventional types, as we’ve got some clean, clubroot-free land, so should get a yield bonus next year.”

Winter wheat yields were above average, with Viscount at 11.1t/ha and Grafton at 11.7t/ha, said Mr Norrie. “Some of the later crops won’t be so stunning, but we should get at least a 10t/ha average, and could even break our record.”

Spring barley yields were also potentially record-breaking, having averaged over 7.4t/ha so far. “We grew Waggon and Propino as feed, and trialled some Shandy for high-nitrogen malting, which averaged 7.7t/ha and all made the grade.”

The 1215ha of winter barley had also been good, with the six-rows Meridian and Escadre averaging 11.1t/ha and 10t/ha; at 64-65kg/hl and 70kg/hl, respectively.

Two-row Retriever only managed 8.6t/ha, with hybrids – largely grown after winter wheat – averaging 9.6t/ha.


Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Grafton
Area: 40ha
Yield: 11.7t/ha


Variety: Viscount
Area: 40ha
Yield: 11.1t/ha


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Cracker
Area: 283ha
Yield: 4.2t/ha


Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Waggon, Propino and Shandy
Area: 243ha
Yield: >7.4t/ha


Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Meridian, Escadre, Retriever and others
Area: 1215ha
Yield: 8.6-11.1t/ha


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