Nick Davidson counts his blessings

North Eastern Scotland had been very lucky with the weather, according to Nick Davidson of Milton of Clola, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire.

Although rain had frustrated harvest, he had finished his oilseed rape and winter barley, while Fife, further south, had suffered from 7” of rain in just 10 days.

“Even tracked combines are struggling down there – it’s an absolute disaster,” he said.

Today (21 August) Mr Davidson was lifting potatoes for a neighbour, with supermarkets desperate for early supplies.

He finished his Mendel rapeseed and blended Pearl and Sequel winter barley on Saturday, and was very pleased with the results.

“Winter barley did extremely well – about as good as we’ve ever had.” Although all cut at 18-24% moisture, it averaged almost 9.9t/ha (4t/acre) dry weight. “The drying costs are going to be quite horrendous.”

Oilseed rape averaged about 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre) – and there was a lot of rape still to cut in the area, said Mr Davidson.

His 20ha (50 acres) of winter wheat was about two weeks away from being fit, and would be followed by 32ha (80 acres) of Oxbridge spring barley.

“We’re ready for drilling oilseed rape but the ground is so wet we won’t get on for a few days.”

Crop: Winter barley
Variety: Pearl / Sequel mix
Area: 36ha (90 acres)
Yield: 9.9t/ha (4t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Mendel
Area: 28ha (70 acres)
Yield: 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre)


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Duxford winter wheat is an HGCA Recommended List 2008/09 variety with very high UK treated yields and the top score for resistance to lodging with PGR. Combined with an unbeaten second wheat yield and a balanced disease resistance profile, this new variety from Syngenta Seeds will help UK growers rise to the challenge of producing more grain profitably.


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