Stuart Davidson is still trying to cut winter barley at Cassigill Farm, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, after another week of intermittent harvesting and drilling.

“We are down to about 60ha of winter barley to cut,” he said. “Yields to date, off the combine yield maps, are hovering around 7t/ha, with Escadre performing the best in both yield and specific weights.

“In general, specific weights have been very disappointing this year – in the range of 57-61kg/hl off the combine – which is not surprising given the season.

“Average moisture has been around 19%, with highs of 24% and lows of 16% – plenty to keep the grain dryer busy.”

The 320ha of desiccated oilseed rape was hardly ready, but should be ripe by the weekend, said Mr Davidson.

“Given a more pleasant weather forecast for next week, it is tempting to give it a couple of days to reduce moisture and save on drying costs. A good week should see the rapeseed in the shed.”

Oilseed rape establishment had been similarly stop-start, with patience being of importance to allow ground conditions to dry out, he added.

“We have drilled around 80ha, with another 80ha to go, but with the forecast looking better this should be drilled by the end of next week.”

The combine being fitted with tracks this year, and the chaser bin being on wide flotation tyres, had been a Godsend, with minimal damage to soils.

“Controlled traffic for the combine and chaser bin, unloading at 10m, has minimised wheelings.

“This has reduced cultivations and we are looking forward to CTF at 10m being implemented over the whole farm next year.”