Continued showers have kept combines under wraps across much of Northern Ireland, Northern England and Scotland over the past week.

“We haven’t had the settled dry spell that everyone’s had further south,” said Stuart Fuller-Shapcott, who farms at Sweethope, Kelso, in the Scottish Borders.

“I haven’t even made my first cut silage yet, because we haven’t had two dry days together.

“I’m actually thinking of buying a four-wheel drive combine, because it is so wet underfoot. The tramlines are alright, but I’m very nervous of travelling anywhere else.”

Winter barley harvest was still seven to 10 days away, making it about 10 days later than normal, he said.

And oilseed rape would be three to four weeks off; a fortnight later than usual.

“Spring barley will be mixed up in the middle of that – and the wheat is full of disease so will die off early, meaning everything will come at once.”

Although Mr Fuller-Shapcott’s rapeseed was still standing, a lot in the area was lodging badly. “And it hasn’t even been sprayed off yet.”

However, on the brighter side, grain prices had improved, and Kelso Show went ahead on a rare dry day, he added.

“We’ve sold about 70% of our wheat forward, so I think we will stop there until we know what’s in the barn.”

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