Send us your views on harvest progress/prospects: Karen.Willmer@rbi.co.uk
SCOTTISH SPRING barley has been described as “dreadful” by some growers this harvest, according to latest reports.
Poor establishment due to wet weather in the spring, combined with drought stress on lighter soils in early summer mean yields are well down on normal for many.
Borders farmer Stuart Fuller-Shapcott near Kelso said his new variety Oxbridge had been very poor, barely reaching 5t/ha (2t/acre).
Other varieties were also disappointing, yielding below average. “We’re on heavy land, so it’s not been easy for spring barley in general this year.”
It has also been a difficult season for Robert Ramsey, who farms near Arbroath, Angus. His Cocktail spring barley is averaging 5-6t/ha, but despite unsettled weather, crops are coming in relatively dry at 17% moisture, he said.
In contrast, further south, Derek Lamplough in Yorkshire said his Cocktail yielded 0.6t/ha above last year and nitrogen levels are suitable for malting.
He is now halfway through Claire winter wheat, which has so far been yielding above the farm’s five year average at over 10t/ha. Quality has been generally good, but he fears it will soon deteriorate if rain continues.
In Cambridgeshire, Oliver Walston added that his milling wheat quality was reasonably good, but yields were down around 1.6t/ha on last year.
See FWi’s Harvest Highlights section for the regional reports in full and more from around the country, updated every day.