Harvest north of the border has been a bit of a mixed bag. The south of the country is finished with variable yields dependant on water supply during the summer. In the central belt it is more or less over apart from some spring oats and beans. Yield and quality has, in general, been good as we had enough moisture when we needed it.

A bit more sun in August would have been a bonus. The north east is another story. Yield potential up to a few weeks ago looked excellent but with most of the spring barley and winter wheat still to cut and the weather playing up growers will be anxious about the eventual out-turn. Inevitably this will have a knock on effect with regard to next year’s cropping if fields become pulverised by the current harvesting activity.

Oilseed rape crops already sown are growing away well. The moist soils have sparked a flush of volunteer cereals which will shortly be taken out with a graminicide. If a pre-emergence spray was achieved it will have been metazachlor/clomazome based. If missed then an early post emergence application of metazachlor/quinmerac should suffice. The old faithful, propyzamide, is always there as a fallback.

In the earlier areas soil is being turned over by a variety of systems and cereals (barley and wheat) are being sown into fairly reasonable seed-beds. As blackgrass is not really an issue up here, resistant or not, weed control can be based round chlorotoluron (if varieties allow), pendimethalin, picolinafen and diflufenican in various formulations. The mild conditions will warrant a BYDV aphid spray unless an appropriate seed treatment has been applied. Here’s hoping for a fine autumn to get all the work done and the potatoes lifted in good order.