Below-average winter barley yields
SCOTTISH farmers are 7-10 days behind schedule, but have harvested 75% of winter barley, according to Simon Barry of Highland Grain.
Winter barley yields are between 6.2-7.4t/ha (2-2.5t/acre). “They have to get in excess of 3t/acre to make it worthwhile.”
He says the lower yield was due to many reasons, but winter conditions were more favourable than usual with drier weather and three months of frost and snow.
Variety performance has varied. Some Regina has made malting grade, but he says the quality and yield are variable. Pearl has had a limited acreage but is now the best two-row variety.
Of the six-row varieties, Rounder and Muscat have had good specific weights, Rounder about 60kg/hl. “Siberia has been a disaster. It is thin, has a specific weight in low 50s [kg/hl] and will be a discounted variety.”
He has seen one sample of spring barley, but says most farmers will be into them this weekend.