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SPRING BARLEY in Scotland has generally been poor this year due to bad drilling conditions earlier in the year, according to growers.
But in contrast, despite varied progress, many are pleased with wheat, reporting generally high yields and good quality.
Stuart Fuller-Shapcott in the Scottish Borders said spring barley has been very disappointing with yields “average to very bad”. Screenings were slightly high, and Oxbridge was a “complete disaster” yielding just under 5t/ha.
Winter wheat was going very well with Malacca “looking wonderful” at 10t/ha, second wheat Einstein at 9.75t/ha, and he hopes Solstice will do 12.5t/ha.
Andrew Peddie in Fife said spring barley had been disappointing after been sown in a difficult spring. “It has never looked good.” But wheat yields are much better than expected, with quality good enough for the distilling market, he noted.
Scottish Agronomy’s Allen Scobie said spring barley progress is slow in many areas with only 10–20% cut in Kincardineshire and Aberdeenshire. Yields have been average but have suffered from high screenings and lower than average nitrogen.
He said only 15–20% of wheat has been cut in Fife and Angus, but a large amount has been done in East Lothian and towards the borders. Yields and specific weights are looking good at the moment, he said.
Berwickshire farmer Les Anderson finished harvest in record time on September 2. Wheat yields did very well at 10.1t/ha, with high bushel weights.
By comparison, Optic spring barley was disappointing at 5t/ha due to poor seedbeds. With 1.6% nitrogen he said he was only getting £70/tonne.
See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.