Scottish harvest beats expectations

Harvest in Scotland is progressing apace, with winter barley almost finished south of the River Tay, according to Masstock agronomist Jim Rennie.

“General feedback has been good, although because of the severe winter we did lose plants and expectations were lowered.”

North facing fields had lost 25-40% of plants, but yields were still better than expected, and with some excellent crops overall yields were about average.

“By and large, specific weights are good – the grains are like marbles.” Retriever had yielded well, but suffered from its usual lower bushelweight, he added.

Pearl and Saffron had also been pleasing, and nitrogens, while slightly higher than some contract specifications, were still proving acceptable for malting intake.

Farmers had just started combining oilseed rape, but most crops would not be ready for another week, said Mr Rennie.

“The early crops have died off because they were poorly rooted, either through compaction or too high a plant count.”

Initial yields ranged from 3t/ha to 3.7t/ha (1.2-1.5t/acre), which boded well for the later crops.

Wheat was still about two weeks away from ripening, and was likely to come at the same time as spring barley, causing logistical difficulties, he added.

“There will be some second wheats cut significantly ahead of the rest and those are likely to be poor yielding.

“What we would regard as poor second wheat varieties, like Oakley, Alchemy, Claire and Robigus, are dying off more quickly.”

A very large acreage of winter oats had been ploughed up after terrible frost damage over the winter, and yields were likely to be low for those crops which were left.

Don’t forget – you can text us about yourharvest progress on 07537 402 287. Start your message with“fwharvest”

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