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