Finished at Battletown Farm

Mark McFerran has finished harvest at Battletown Farm, Newtonards, Co. Down, having put all the arable land down to winter barley.


“We began cutting in the last week of July and had finished by the following Thursday,” he said.

“The moisture content wasn’t what we wanted, but the crop was ripe and we didn’t want to chance leaving it, and then potentially losing it.”

The 34ha (85 acres) of winter barley came off at between 16.5% and 23% moisture, averaging 20%.

“There was particularly heavy rain the day after we finished, so we were really pleased to have got the fields cleared.”

Overall, the barley averaged 8.2t/ha (3.3t/acre), equivalent to about 7.4t/ha (3t/acre) after drying.

“We were quite pleased – that is slightly above our usual average.”

Volume yielded the best, at 8.9t/ha (3.6t/acre), albeit at a high moisture, while Saffron and Retriever came in at 8t/ha (3.25t/acre).

“For some reason the straw yields were not as good from the six-row as the two-row varieties, so I’m considering not growing Volume again.

“The bushelweight was touch and go, too, falling below 62kg/hl sometimes. If we hadn’t had the two-rows to bring the average up it may have been more difficult to sell.”

Most farmers in the area had finished winter barley, and were moving into spring barley, he said.


Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Volume
Area: 24ha (60 acres)
Yield: 8.9t/ha (3.6t/acre)


Variety: Saffron
Area: 4ha (10 acres)
Yield: 8t/ha (3.25t/acre)


Variety: Retriever
Area: 6ha (15 acres)
Yield: 8t/ha (3.25t/acre)



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