Martin Bridges is busy combining at Moray Estates, Elgin, Morayshire, today (11 September), and hopes to finish by the end of the weekend.
“We had three inches of rain in 36 hours last week, but it’s dried up well,” he said. Gales on Tuesday helped to dry crops and ground conditions out further, but did cause more crop damage.
“There’s a lot of wheat on the floor, and the straw has brackled down, so we’re cutting more heads off. But yields are quite good despite that.”
The Viscount winter wheat was yielding at least 9.9t/ha (4t/acre) today, at about 16.5% moisture, said Mr Bridges. “There is a little bit of sprouting in it.”
Alchemy and Robigus also performed reasonably well, given the growing conditions.
“Drilling conditions were rubbish, then we had two bouts of drought in the spring, followed by the wettest July and August we can remember. It’s amazing we’re cutting anything at all.”
Spring barley had yielded well, at 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre). “And the quality has been as good as we’ve ever had. But the price for malting barley is on the floor – it’s £60/t below the cost of production.”
Boost, Volume and a Pearl / Pict blend of winter barley averaged 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre). “The Boost and Volume are streets ahead in terms of yield, so we’re dropping the Pearl and Pict.”
Farmers had cut a lot over the past few days, and many should finish over the weekend, said Mr Bridges.
However, those in low-lying areas were still struggling in very wet conditions, he added.
Crop: Winter wheat
Yield: >9.9t/ha (4t/acre)
Crop: Spring barley
Varieties: Optic, Oxbridge, Braemar, Belgravia, Decanter and Forensic
Yield: 6.2t/ha (2.5t/acre)
Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Boost, Volume, Pearl / Pict blend
Yield: 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre)
Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2009/10 variety with very high UK treated yields and a maximum 9 rating for resistance to lodging with and without PGR. Combined with the highest second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, Duxford will continue to help UK growers meet the challenge of producing more grain profitably.