21 September 2001
Quality problems in far north

BARLEY harvest is nearing completion in northern Scotland, with around 80% in the barn, says Simon Barry at Highland Grain near Inverness.

“Earlier yields have been good, at around 3-3.5t/acre (7.5-8.75t/ha), but later crops have been brackling over. Id say overall were looking at about 2.3t/acre (5.75t/ha), which is a good average.”

Quality is fine “until you look at it,” he says. “At 1.45-1.85% the nitrogen is in the right area and screenings are less than 5%. But there are varying levels of skinned grains, and thats where the problem lies.”

More than a third is being rejected for skinned grains. Usually this is less than 10%.

But the malting market is depressed. “Malsters have a huge carry-over from last harvest. Theyre taking what they can from harvest but theyre not worried.”

With the weather now closing in, wheat has hardly started. “The wheat harvest has been fitful. Its getting discoloured and growers are worrying about it going down and losing bushel weight.”


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