Harvest 2004: Scottish surge

 NEARLY ALL the wheat has now been taken off the field around the UK.

Grain merchants and co-ops are struggling with the sudden influx in intake volumes.

After initial fears about quality and yields, there have been reports coming in that yields have remained fairly high in most places while quality has managed to be retained in a few areas around the UK.

About 95% of the wheat and 80% of the barley has now been taken off the field in the highlands, according to Simon Barry from Highland Grain near Inverness, Scotland.

Yields and quality of wheat appear to be good, but he said this year‘s harvest had been expensive due to high moisture contents and high prices of oil.

“At this point we‘re happy that we‘ve nearly finished, but when I actually sit down with a pen and paper it‘ll be a bad year,” said Mike Cumming, farm manger for Lour Farms near Forfar, Angus.

Scots farmer James Grant-Suttie told FARMERS WEEKLY Harvest Highlights he is relieved to have finished his harvest.

But “the major downside of the harvest was the oilseed rape. The later stuff had 20% sprouting and I don‘t know what I‘m going to get for it.”

Unexciting yields and poor quality was the result of a hard years work for Michael Manners near Darlington, Durham.

The rains washed away both the yield and quality from his wheat. His Napier second wheat yielded higher than the first wheats because of the onslaught of rain.

Nick Brown from Wiltshire grain said “All of it has now been harvested (wheat); I just have to go round and pick up the last bits.”

Phil Darke from Camgrain in East Anglia says “the harvest is virtually done, just got to clean up the beans down in Essex – it‘s a big relief.”

According to FWi weather services, most of the UK will receive plenty of sunshine with some mist in north-west England and south-west Scotland in the morning.