Rain flattens oats near Peterhead

Doug Fowlie has finished combining winter barley and oilseed rape at Millhill Farm, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and is now waiting for spring barley to ripen.

“We had an inch of rain last night (10 August) and it’s very windy and miserable today,” he said. “Some of the winter oats have gone flat, and a little bit of spring barley, but it’s not too bad yet.”

Mr Fowlie was reasonably happy with the barley and rapeseed yields, which had averaged about 8.6t/ha and 3.6t/ha, respectively.

“It’s just the price that’s horrendous – pounds per acre will be no use this year because the costs were just too high.”

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Retriever winter barley had suffered from low bushel weights, at 63kg/hl, with Madros at 65kg/hl and Escadre at 68kg/hl, said Mr Fowlie.

Cracker oilseed rape had done about 3.6t/ha, with one piece of ‘virgin’ oilseed rape ground doing 4.3t/ha.

“The crops that are still to come are looking okay, although they are looking more seasoned than they were, due to the rain,” he added.

“The spring barley is for malting, so we want to keep the quality good. It’s five or six days away from being ripe, so we need the sun to come out now.”

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