Rained off near Berwick

Torrential rain has stopped land work at Colin McGregor’s Coldstream Mains Farm, Berwick, Scotland, and is likely to prevent any progress for the next week or so.

“We finished combining wheat on Sunday night (23 September), and have got spring beans left to cut,” said farm manager David Fuller.

“But we had 42mm of rain and 60 mph gales last night, so I doubt we’ll get going until at least the weekend now.”

Wet conditions had prevented him from getting on the land to spray off the beans, with tractors and trailers at risk of sinking.

“Ground conditions are poor but not desperately poor,” he said. “We had a good spell at the start of September with plenty wind, which dried the ground out and allowed us to cut at 17% moisture, which is good for up here.

“Since then we have cut at between 22% and 25% moisture.”

Wheat yields hadn’t been great, with Mr Fuller predicting a 30% decrease on the farm’s five year average.

“It was pretty abysmal,” he said. “We cut 1450ha which averaged about 7t/ha, down from the usual 10t/ha.”

The 272ha of spring beans had held out well until last night.

“We need an Indian summer now. Following the rain last night we have crops underwater and water running out of fields because the drains can’t cope.

“We’ve averaged four inches of rain a month for the past six months.”

Alongside the combine, cultivation and drilling equipment was parked up in the shed, with no spring barley drilled yet, but 300ha of wheat sown.

“Rightly or wrongly we have drilled wheat,” said Mr Fuller. “We finished sowing rapeseed on Saturday but it’s a pretty sorry state up here with a lot of waterlogging.

“I don’t think we’ll be moving until at least the weekend if not beyond,” he added.

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