Barley under way at Balgone Farms

James Grant-Suttie has cut a 10th of his winter barley at Balgone Farms, North Berwick, East Lothian, and soon expects all the crops to come at once.

The 8ha of Cassata cut so far was surprisingly good, testing at 1.69% nitrogen and coming off at 15.4% moisture with yields of 6.9t/ha.

“Most fields have been so wet that some areas have really under-performed,” he said. “To achieve the average yields that we have is a real delight.”

Mr Grant-Suttie reckoned his heavy ground had suited such a dry spring, benefiting crop performance in the North Berwick area.

“Out of all of the crops this year, the spring barley looks really good,” he said. “Although it was drilled late, the fine weather with a small amount of rain has allowed it to catch up and I’m really pleased.”

With a more settled spell of weather, Mr Grant-Suttie planned to cut the rest of the winter barley this week, with the final 40ha in about a week’s time (13 August).

He had also been busy with the last of the spraying, completing 140ha of Concerto spring barley, which should be ready to cut in a fortnight.

Half the oilseed rape was sprayed off a week ago, with the rest to be sprayed at the end of this week.

“The next problem may be that the spring barley and the oilseed will be ready at the same time, so we may see issues with congestion.”

Wheat crops looked about average for the area, with around half of Balgone Farms’ 200ha of Invicta and Viscount winter wheat looking poor and the remainder looking far more reasonable, he added.

Crop: Winter Barley
Variety: Cassata
Area: 8ha
Yield: 6.9t/ha

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