Finishing up in the Borders

Neil Thomson has finished harvest at Caverton Mill, Kelso, Scottish Borders, but is very worried about getting next year’s crops in the ground.

Most people were beginning to wind up harvest in the area, and Mr Thomson’s combine-sharing group cut the last of their wheat yesterday (28 September), leaving just spring and winter beans still to get.

“It’s surprising how well the ground has dried up – considering three weeks ago today we were under water we’ve got on pretty well,” he said.

Early wheat yields had been good, at about 9.5t/ha (3.8t/acre), but after the rain bushelweights had dropped from 75kg/hl to 66kg/hl, bringing the overall wheat average to 8.8t/ha (3.6t/acre).

Having combined at very high moistures, there was not much profit left after extortionate drying costs, said Mr Thomson. “The wear and tear on the machinery has also been horrendous.”

Spring barley yields had been reasonable, and all the Optic went for malting, but Oxbridge had suffered badly with pre-germination, he added.

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Cordiale
Area: 80ha (200 acres)
Yield: 9.4t/ha (3.8t/acre)

Varieties: Robigus, Alchemy and Zebedee
Area: 113ha (280 acres)
Yield: 8.5t/ha (3.4t/acre)

Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Oxbridge and Optic
Area: 121ha (300 acres)
Yield: 5.9t/ha (2.4t/acre)


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