Finished wheat near Edinburgh

Sandy Allison finished the last 38ha of winter wheat last night (4 September) at Turnhouse Farm, Edinburgh, leaving just spring beans left to harvest.

“We’ve had a reasonable spell of dry weather over the past seven to 10 days – although it is now raining today,” he said.

Yields had been good, with Leeds exceeding 12.4t/ha as a first wheat and Cordiale doing 9.3t/ha as a second wheat. “The protein and Hagbergs are good, so I’m getting a £30/t premium for the Cordiale.”

Concerto spring barley had also yielded well, at over 7.4t/ha, although Mr Allison was concerned about how late modern spring malting varieties were getting.

“It wasn’t ready until Monday (1 September) which doesn’t help the harvest profile – it means everything comes at once,” he said. “We even had last weekend off as nothing was ready.”

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Cracker oilseed rape was rather more disappointing, at 3.3t/ha.

“We’ve grown oilseed rape on a three-year rotation since the mid-late 1980s, and then five years ago ran into a severe clubroot problem. It’s just not producing the margins now, so we’re dropping it altogether.”

Having sprayed off the spring beans on Monday, Mr Allison expected to start cutting them in just over two weeks time. “They look very promising,” he said.

Most farmers were close to finishing harvest in the area, although further north there was plenty left to do.

“We’re now concentrating on the drilling,” said Mr Allison. “We gave up ploughing 12 years ago in favour of minimum tillage – but last year we still overworked our medium loam so this year we’re moving completely to direct drilling.”