Barley back on map in Scotland

Combining at Leckerstone Farm, Dunfermline in Fife, Farmers Weekly’s Scottish Barometer farm, began on Tuesday – the same date as last year.

“After disruption by showers we’d managed to clear 21.7ha of Sequel winter barley by last night,” said John Hutcheson.

“The adjusted yield looks like being a very pleasing 9.2t/ha with a specific weight of 64kg/hl before going through the drier – which is good for a six-row.”

The farm’s average for the crop is about 8.6t/ha, he noted.

“The grain moisture is between 16 and 18%, but the straw is still green which is making threshing difficult.

“The ground conditions are soft, but we are comparatively lucky. I’ve seen it a lot worse.”

Rain stopped play today with another 120ha of barley, mostly Sequel but some Amarena, still to cut, plus 184ha of oilseed rape, mainly Mendel.

“We only sprayed off the last of the rape yesterday, so the soonest we’ll start on it is in 10 days’ time, though I think it will probably be more like a fortnight,” said Mr Hutcheson.

“I’m delighted with the barley, though, as I can sell it for double what it made last year. I’ve been quoted £125/t ex farm for February delivery. That puts barley right back on the map.”