“If the sun had been shining, we‘d be taking in winter barley by now, without a shadow of doubt,” he said.

As it is, the store is still waiting for its first load to arrive, although one or two members have dropped in with samples for testing.

“I‘ve seen some Pearl which came back at over 2.0% nitrogen and 16% moisture, which didn‘t make the farmer very happy. He said he was only cutting it because it was flat.”

Specific weight is looking more rosy, with six-row Pict tested at 65kg/hl and Carat coming in at 64kg/hl.

“Anything over 63kg/hl is respectable for a six-row,” he commented.

Moisture is 16-17% with yields at or just slightly above expectation, he added.