Sandy Norrie is having an excellent harvest at A J Duncan’s Muirden Farm, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, having cut more than three-quarters of the combinable crops.
Above-average yields across the board, combined with decent harvesting weather, were making this year an absolute pleasure, he said.
“It’s like chalk and cheese compared to last year – we’re combining at 16-17% moisture compared to 36-37% last year. And we’re a good four weeks ahead.”
Anything drilled early had yielded well, although later-sown crops were not as good, said Mr Norrie. “The flowering and grain fill period was absolutely ideal – we couldn’t have asked for better.”
Having finished all the Cracker oilseed rape, he was pleased with an average yield of 4.2t/ha. “This year, we’re planting more conventional types, as we’ve got some clean, clubroot-free land, so should get a yield bonus next year.”
Winter wheat yields were above average, with Viscount at 11.1t/ha and Grafton at 11.7t/ha, said Mr Norrie. “Some of the later crops won’t be so stunning, but we should get at least a 10t/ha average, and could even break our record.”
Spring barley yields were also potentially record-breaking, having averaged over 7.4t/ha so far. “We grew Waggon and Propino as feed, and trialled some Shandy for high-nitrogen malting, which averaged 7.7t/ha and all made the grade.”
The 1215ha of winter barley had also been good, with the six-rows Meridian and Escadre averaging 11.1t/ha and 10t/ha; at 64-65kg/hl and 70kg/hl, respectively.
Two-row Retriever only managed 8.6t/ha, with hybrids – largely grown after winter wheat – averaging 9.6t/ha.
Crop: Winter wheat
Crop: Oilseed rape
Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Waggon, Propino and Shandy
Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Meridian, Escadre, Retriever and others