Very late near Peterhead

Farmers still have thousands of acres of spring barley and wheat to cut near Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, and many crops will not be drilled this autumn.

Nick Davidson was relieved to have finished harvest at Clola Farms, Milton of Clola, and even hoped to finish drilling this evening (4 October).

“But what a struggle it has been – it’s been absolutely awful. And there’s still an awful lot left to cut.”

However, with a better forecast this week, and large capacity combines, farmers should be able to make rapid progress.

“I can’t imagine the malting barley will make the grade now, and there will be a lot of losses from the heads on the ground.

“Some wheat has sprouted in the head, too, but the crops look remarkably well. The saving grace is that they have only been ripe for the past couple of weeks.”

Mr Davidson’s final 20ha (50 acres) of Riband wheat yielded about 1.2t/ha (0.5t/acre) below average, at just over 10t/ha (4t/acre).

“We lost a lot on the ground where the grains had shaken out. But for what it’s been through I’m pretty happy – and our contractors were great.

“The quality was remarkable – Riband can stand this weather a lot better than some of the newer varieties.

“It came off at 30% moisture – it’s cost a fortune to dry, but at least we’ve got it in the barn.”

Mr Davidson’s winter barley had been sown into dreadful conditions, but was now showing through. “The next problem will be the slugs.

“A lot of the land in the area won’t be drilled now, because it’s so wet. There is a lot of water lying in the fields.”

Crop: Winter wheat
Variety: Riband
Area: 20ha (50 acres)
Yield: >10tha (4t/acre)

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Oxbridge
Yield: 6.9t/ha (2.8t/acre)

Crop: Winter barley
Varieties: Sequel and Pearl
Yield: 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Mendel
Yield: 4.6t/ha (1.85t/acre)

Variety: Cracker
Yield: 4t/ha (1.6t/acre)

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