Richard Stephen still has 60ha (150 acres) of wheat to cut at Muirton of Barra, Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire.


“We had a lot of rain yesterday – we’re behind with the sowing and it’s too wet to get potatoes as well.”

Usually he would have finished sowing winter barley by now, but he still had a third of it left to drill.

Yields had been reasonable, with Alchemy and Riband winter wheat coming in about average at 10.1t/ha (4.1t/acre) as first wheats.

Oxbridge spring barley was very pleasing, yielding 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre) and 1.3% nitrogen.

Retriever winter barley also performed well again on the farm, averaging 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre) with Volume.

“The Volume seemed to brackle quite badly this year – we lost quite a lot of heads on the ground.”

Mr Stephen now had 10ha (25 acres) of his own wheat left to cut, as well as some contract combining.

“The tail end of the wheat wasn’t ready before the rain, but it’s beginning to turn a bit dark now.

“Further inland I’ve heard of people with 600ha (1500 acres) still to cut – their spring barley wasn’t ready before the weather turned hellish.

“I don’t know how much was destined for malting – it will be interesting to see what happens with the premiums.

“The forecast is a bit better now, but it will take a bit of drying up.”


Crop: Winter wheat
Varieties: Alchemy and Riband
Yield: 10.1t/ha (4.1t/acre)


Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Oxbridge
Yield: 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre)


Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Volume and Retriever
Yield: 9.1t/ha (3.7t/acre)