Parked up at Leckerstone

The combine has been parked up for nearly two weeks on John Hutcheson’s Leckerstone farm, in Dunfermline, Fife, following continued wet weather.

“We finished winter barley and rapeseed, but we’re waiting on spring barley and wheat to dry out now,” he said

“The ground is very wet and we’ve had very few combining days.”

With 80ha of spring barley to combine and 300ha of Invicta, Viscount and Istabraq wheat, there was plenty for Mr Hutcheson to do.

But with continued wet conditions, it was going to be a few days until combining could resume.

“Luckily our combine has tracks so we’ve been alright to travel so far, but we’ve not cut for two weeks now so it could be worse when we get going again.”

Winter barley yields had been pleasing and only just below average, said Mr Hutcheson.

“Winter barley wasn’t that disappointing, with Sequel doing 8.75t/ha and Pearl doing 7.18t, with all of the Pearl making malting.”

Rapeseed was a different story, however, with yields being well below average at 3t/ha. And while harvest was proving tricky, putting the next crop in the ground was too.

“This far north we really need to sow rapeseed in August,” he said. “We’ve done 20ha but it’s just so wet, so we’re having to plough and then leave it to dry. Although we’re ploughed ahead, it’s just not drying out.

“It looks like we’ll be well down with oilseed rape next year as a result.”

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