Northern Ireland barley does well

Robert Craig from Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, said no farmers were behind with harvest in his area despite having had rain for 18 days in August. Most had started cutting wheat, although he did not grow any himself, and only one or two had started on spring barley.

He begun winter barley harvest at the end of June, with crops for crimping from July 15 and started those for seed from early August.

Forty hectares (100acres) of Camion and Saffron yielded 10t/ha (4t/acre), which was above the farm average of 8.1t/ha (3.25t/acre). Quality had been very good with bushel weights of 72kg/hl.

With spring barley the predominant crop in Northern Ireland, Mr Craig hoped to start on his own 32ha (80acres) next Tuesday, of which 22ha (55acres) was grown for seed.

But he said growers were cutting at 20% moisture so there was a high level of drying.

“If we can get it in within the next 10 days it will be fine. I’m not panicking as it was late spring sown, so it is only just coming ripe now.”

But some growers were a little behind with sowing oilseed rape. “The ground conditions are very varied as it was so dry in June and then it has not been dry enough in August to get on with the work.

“It is now a typical harvest for Northern Ireland, but we were expecting it to be better due to the dry July.”

• Crop: Winter barley
• Area: 40ha
• Variety: Camion and Saffron
• Yield: 10t/ha
• Quality: Bushel weight 72kg/hl

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