High Nitrogen in Scottish spring barley

Frank Thomson was 60% through cutting 280ha (700acres) of spring barley in Moray, Scotland. He said it was going very well but quality was very varied.

“Nitrogen levels were two or three percent too high, probably because the growth stage was not long enough due to the hot weather in June and July.”

He said 90% of Optic had gone for malting, but Oxbridge and Cocktail had particularly suffered with high nitrogen. Many neighbours were reporting similar problems.

Some yields were “incredible” at over 7.5t/ha (3t/acre), but he said the average was about 6.9t/ha (2.75t/acre). “We’re pleased – it’s very good for us.”

Mr Thomson said the crops had held up well in the recent rain. Sixty hectares (150acres) of winter wheat was ripe, but he said it was best to get the spring barley in first.

He added: “We’ve had a busy few days. It has been dry so we’re going night and day at it.”

• Crop: Spring barley
• Variety: Oxbridge, Optic, Cocktail
• Area: 280ha
• Yield: 6.9t/ha average
• Quality: High nitrogen levels

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