Weather brings mixed picture for Scottish growers
CHANGEABLE weather conditions have brought a mixed picture for Scottish growers, with some recording their earliest harvest while others have seen work grind to a halt.
Many in the north east of the country are playing catch up after heavy rain battered the area over consecutive weeks.
Farm records show parts of Aberdeen and Morayshire received 220mm of rain between January and July and then received more than 200mm in the first few weeks of August.
“As a result there have been reports of combines getting stuck,” said NFUS combinable crops chairman Andrew Moir, of Thornton Mains, Laurencekirk.
“The amount of water in some fields will lead to worries about germination.”
It is a different picture in East Ayrshire, where many growers have completed harvest ahead of schedule and with impressive yields.
Andrew Glover of who farms at Hall of Barnweill, Kilmarnock, said: “My wheat is all harvested, with yields approximately 3.3 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes per acre dried with moisture from 15.5 per cent down to 13.8 percent – absolutely amazing for this area and very similar to the moistures in the winter barley.
“Most wheat is now done in this area, and there is a lot of crimping of spring barley being done as we speak. Spring barley will be later than normal due to the wet spring.”
Willie Thomson of Longniddry, East Lothian, said work was also progressing well on his Wheatrig farm, but a backdrop of falling grain prices was fuelling pessimism.
Mr Thomson added that a lack of clarity from Scottish Government around greening rules was hampering growers.
“This is a disgrace as our counterparts in England and Wales have had comprehensive guidelines for some time now,” he added.
Change in the weather
Farmers Guardian weather expert Dr Simon Keeling said although the weather will improve – bringing hope to many battling sodden conditions – there could only be a four to five day window of more August-like conditions.
“For some weeks we have been forecasting an improvement around the September 2-3 and computer models and now backing up these thoughts,” said Dr Keeling.
“High pressure is indicated to be building through the later stages of the coming weekend and into the early part of next week.
“This may well bring a spells of drier, brighter and warmer weather, although farmers should watch out for the risk of some cooler nights.
“I’m not convinced that the fine weather will be lasting for a protracted period, perhaps four or five days at most, and there may always be a risk of some rain in northern and western Scotland