Mixed for­tunes as work gets bogged down by weather Frus­tra­tion for farm­ers as wet spell hits harvest

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - FARMING - BY GEMMA MACKEN­ZIE

Harvest 2017 is one of mixed for­tunes for farm­ers across Scot­land, ac­cord­ing to NFU Scot­land (NFUS).

An un­sea­son­ably wet sum­mer has caused frus­tra­tion on the ma­jor­ity of farms, with some grow­ers warn­ing they may not be able to fin­ish up be­fore the end of the sea­son. How­ever oth­ers have re­ported their best yields for years.

In the High­lands, many grow­ers have man­aged to fin­ish cut­ting spring bar­ley, wheat and oilseed rape. How­ever, a key con­cern is the cur­rent wet con­di­tions which are mak­ing the ground too wet to be­gin sow­ing for next year.

Cameron MacIver, who farms at Wester Colt­field, near For­res, achieved av­er­age yields of 2.75 tonnes per acre for spring bar­ley.

“For us, it has been an easy harvest but frus­trat­ing dodg­ing heavy rain show­ers. But when we could get to it, it was easy to cut and low mois­ture,” said Mr MacIver,

“Far­ther north, crops have been slow to ripen but good yields when they have. As usual it all boils down to the weather.”

NFUS High­land re­gional man­ager Ian Wil­son said: “There are still many farm­ers around with large amounts of spring bar­ley to cut, but in most cases this is be­cause they cut their wheat in the last weather win­dow. Com­bine wheels have not turned since the mid­dle of last week but ev­ery­one is go­ing again this week, al­though con­di­tions are not great.”

Aberdeen­shire farmer Char­lie Adam, of Braeside. Cush­nie, Al­ford, said: “Crops have been slow and un­even and late in ripen­ing de­spite ap­pear­ing well on ear­lier in the sea­son. There is a lot of straw ly­ing wet in the bout.”

Far­ther south in the Forth, Clyde and Ayr­shire re­gions many farm­ers are pre­par­ing them­selves for sal­vage jobs if the weather does not im­prove soon.

NFUS said grow­ers in th­ese ar­eas were re­port­ing harvest at a com­plete stand­still.

SET­BACKS: Some farm­ers have re­ported that crops have been slow and late in ripen­ing with a lot of straw ly­ing wet in the fields

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