Worrying forecast for Scottish OSR

Les Anderson is delighted with yields at Hamish Morison Farming Ltd, Earlston, Berwickshire, but is watching the forecast with some trepidation.

“They say the tail end of a tropical storm is heading our way, and could arrive over the weekend,” he said. “We’ve still got 57ha of oilseed rape left to cut, so we really want to get that off before the rain arrives.”

So far the Cracker had been coming off at between 8% and 12% moisture, which was low for the area – although after recent showers it was more likely to be 14% when the combine got started today (7 August).

Crop facts

  • Crop: Oilseed rape
  • Variety: Cracker
  • Yield: 4.2t/ha

“Yields are a wee bit up on our average, and certainly up on the past couple of years, which were terrible,” said Mr Anderson.

See also: How to produce a record-breaking OSR crop.

Winter barley had also performed well, with Escadre, Harlequin and Glacier averaging 9.1t/ha. “The Glacier was the best, at 10.1t/ha – it’s a good winter barley farm here – it just seems to suit it.”

Winter wheat and spring barley also looked well, although some had gone flat where poultry litter had overlapped, added Mr Anderson.

“There are quite a lot of flat oats around here, which hopefully means the yields will be good and heavy.

“The sun has been shining beautifully for us so it shouldn’t really have gone down, as we haven’t had that many heavy showers.”