Heavy rain halts harvest in Berwickshire

Les Anderson has made a start on harvest at Hamish Morison Farming, Earlston, Berwickshire, but rain over the weekend has prevented any further progress.

“We’ve cut about 50ha of the 195ha of winter barley,” he said.

“We had Cassata on a malting contract, which we cut at 18.7% moisture, and which yielded 7.1t/ha. Bushel weights were poor and we just made 64kg/hl.”

Rain on Saturday night turned into a monsoon on Sunday, with 25mm falling. “Crops stood at about 27% moisture yesterday morning when we tested them.”

Provided the rain stayed off, Mr Anderson hoped to get a start again today (August 8), although wasn’t too optimistic about quality.

“The headlands don’t look pretty and I expect all our six row winter barley will have low bushel weights – we’ve just not had the sun,” he said.

“As we’re in a big livestock area, there is a lot of demand for straw, and although we got some of it baled, about 20-30ha got over an inch of rain and will take some drying out.

“It’s going to be a nightmare getting the straw off and then re-establishing crops.”

He was also concerned about his oilseed rape, which started to be sprayed off on 31 July.

“I expect it to be a minimum of two, if not three weeks until its ready to cut, unless we have glorious sunshine.”

Wheat harvest was some time off yet, but a large amount had turned pink in the head, leaving Mr Anderson with some fusarium worries to boot.

Crop: Winter Barley
Variety: Cassata
Area: 195ha
Yield: 7.1t/ha



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