Scottish OSR delights grower

Jim Macfarlane from Berwick-upon-Tweed was “delighted and very impressed” with 33ha (82.5 acres) of Lioness oilseed rape yielding 5t/ha (2t/acre). He said one field came in at slightly over this, but another field was lower having “taken a battering” in the storms last week.

“It’s a record for me. Rape is a funny crop – in the spring it did nothing for weeks on end but eventually flowered and was quite short. It shows big crops don’t always yield.”

Pearl winter barley was “mediocre” with 20ha (50 acres) coming in at 8t/ha (3.2t/acre). He had not grown the crop for many years but had been offered a malting contract this year. “I’m leaning towards Saffron next year. I’m happy with the quality of the Pearl – it met all the spec, but it does not offer a big enough premium.”

Mr Macfarlane said it had been a bad year for spring barley in the area. “It had never looked well and fell victim to the cold spell.” Twenty one hectares of Golden Promise yielded a “disappointing” 5t/ha (3.2t/acre) but he hoped quality would be OK.

“It’s a specialised variety which I’ve grown for many years. It’s crucial to get low nitrogen levels so we don’t give it much fertiliser.”

Cocktail spring barley was not quite ripe but he was looking to cut some winter wheat this afternoon. “To my astonishment the wheat is ready. It’s very early for here.” He said wheat on heavier land was looking well but anything that had died off early on light land was looking shrivelled.

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Lioness
• Area: 33ha
• Yield: 5t/ha

• Crop: Spring barley
• Variety: Golden Promise
• Area: 21ha
• Yield: 5t/ha

• Crop: Winter barley
• Variety: Pearl
• Area: 20ha
• Yield: 8t/ha

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