Rain had stopped play today (16 September) at Sandy Allison’s Turnhouse Farm, Edinburgh, but progress had not been as bad as in many other areas.

“We’ve had a lot to dry, but we’re not nearly as bad as the Borders and Northumberland,” he said.

Even so, he had recorded 236mm of rain in August – about four times the usual monthly average. “Since then we’ve had 57mm and it’s still raining.

“There’s a lot of wheat still to cut roundabout, which is mostly standing, but there’s a lot of head sprouting.”

Mr Allison had 30ha (75 acres) of wheat to finish off, and quality was not good. Yields had been acceptable, but it was costing a fortune to dry.

The highest moisture he had combined at was 32%, with one 400t batch averaging 27%. “But if we hadn’t done that it would still be sitting in the field.”

He reckoned there was no milling quality wheat cut north of North Yorkshire, and harvest was about three weeks behind normal.

“We would normally try to be wrapped up on all the drilling by the end of September. But the whole autumn drilling programme is out of the window, and having to be rewritten almost day by day.”

The first chance Mr Allison had had to drill was on Sunday, when he got 20ha (50 acres) of rape in. “The last time harvest went on this long was 1985.”

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Mendel
Area: 40ha (100 acres)
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Cordiale
Area: 80ha (200 acres)
Yield: average

Varieties: Consort and Alchemy
Area: 243ha (600 acres)
Yield: average

 

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See the New Farm Crops website.