Harvest nears finish line near Berwick

Wet weather has caused havoc for Jim Macfarlane at Edrington Mains Farm, Edington, Berwick-upon-Tweed, although a sunnier September has been a saving grace.

“We’ve got 3ha of wheat left to cut as we got caught in the rain, but we managed to get a lot cut in those first 10 fantastic days of September,” he said.

Winter wheat had been pretty disappointing, especially with the amount of money spent on it, with low bushel weights being the main problem.

“Bushels have been low and straw has been green. It’s been slow and hard going.”

Yields over the whole farm had been poor, with spring barley doing 5.63t/ha and rapeseed 3.5t/ha.

“The Concerto spring barley didn’t all make malting as it was badly skinned, although I’ve been told the yield was quite good for the area.

“And while rapeseed yields were down, I was pretty pleased given the year, although I saw no varietal difference between Compass and Catana.”

Trash from the previous crop was also causing a headache for Mr Macfarlane and his min-till system, a problem he put down to small grains.

“We’ve managed to get some land work done. The weather dried land out quite a bit but we’ve had to have two attempts at establishing oilseed rape as the slugs have been horrendous.”

A deluge last night (18 September) stopped drilling today, with winter wheat and barley into the ground so far.

“Surprisingly we’ve not had to plough yet,” said Mr Macfarlane. “We’ve managed to min-till everything and are getting good seedbeds.

“We just need it to dry out a little, but we’ll just have to suck it and see with regards to the weather.”

Making a mess with the combine had slowed the drilling process down somewhat, although Mr Macfarlane hoped drilling would resume tomorrow.

“Conditions aren’t great but we are getting crops in.”

He still had spring beans yet to combine, but reckoned they would be some time away yet.

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