Far north experiences a chilly beginning to 2001

2 March 2001

Far north experiences a chilly beginning to 2001

Inclement weather is no

stranger on farmers weeklys

Scottish barometer farms for

2001. Shelley Wright reports

WHILE much of England and Wales has been coping with recent flooding, snow has been the main problem for Tom Robb, manager at Pitmaduthy and Newmore Farms near Invergordon, Ross-shire.

"It snowed on Christmas Eve and we did not see a thaw for five weeks," he says. With winter still far from over north of Inverness, snow and frozen ground have delayed ploughing on both farms.

"Normally by now, Pitmaduthy would be ploughed and we would have moved on to Newmore," says Mr Robb. "We have only had about five days since Christmas when the temperature has been above zero." Spring crops are rarely sown before the third week in March. But winter crops and grass knocked by being snow-buried for five weeks need fertiliser.

Normally, a combination of muriate of potash and liquid nitrogen would be on by the last week in February. This year it will be well into March before spreading can begin.

Liquid fertiliser has jumped from £98/t last year to £138 now, so early dressings this year will be imported granular fertiliser bought forward at £112/t.


&#8226 Winter wheat 115ha

&#8226 Winter OSR 27ha

&#8226 Spring barley 107ha

&#8226 Industrial OSR 10.5ha

&#8226 Grass & silage 98ha

&#8226 Rough grazing 31.5ha

&#8226 Turnips 4ha

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