Winter barley is looking good this spring on Iain Green’s family farm in northern Scotland and is heading, hopefully, for a yield of close to 10t/ha.
All 81ha of the autumn-sown crop is in hybrid varieties, such as Sunningdale, and he is looking for bold grain with a specific weight of 62-63kg/hl to feed to his pigs.
“The winter barley looks good this year and we will be looking for a yield of 9-10t/ha if we get enough rain before harvest,” he tells Farmers Weekly.
Mr Green says his hybrid varieties yield 1.5t/ha more than conventional two-row varieties, and he has refined his management on how to grow them.
“Combining lower seed rates and plenty of splits of nitrogen has seen specific weights move into the 62-63kg/hl area,” he says. Animal feed compounders usually look for a minimum specific weight of 63kg/hl.
Mr Green and his family farm nearly 1,700ha at Corskie, just east of Elgin along the Moray Coast, close to the mouth of the River Spey.
The family also grows winter wheat and 880ha of spring malting barley along with grazing suckler cows and sheep, and indoor pigs.