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Harvest 2019: 'Inevitable losses' as wet weather blights Scotland

Wet weather across Scotland is blighting what promised to be a good harvest.

NFU Scotland’s combinable crops chairman Ian Sands, who farms at Balbeggie in Perthshire says: “Growers the length and breadth of Scotland all seem to be in the same boat as we watch the promise of a very good harvest falter in the wet weather.

 


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Losses

 

“In Perthshire it is very challenging. The harvesting of winter barley and oilseed rape should all be finished but there is a bit of winter barley still to be cut and straw that has been lying for some time waiting to be baled is looking very weathered now.

 

“There is still quite a bit of oilseed rape to cut which will not be faring well in the heavy rain we have been getting. Some losses will have inevitably happened.

 

“Spring barley is just starting to come ready so we will know soon how it has fared over the past few weeks of bad weather. Some small amounts of wheat have been cut and worryingly there are reports of it sprouting in the head already.

Wet

 

“Regardless of what crop anyone is trying to harvest, the fields are very soft for travelling across with combines and trailers and, with more rain forecast, this will not improve anytime soon.

 

“Nothing will have been cut at very low moisture, adding into the mix a high cost of drying at a time when prices are falling. Wheat futures tumbled by £4 per tonne on Thursday to compound falling prices over the past weeks, making it a very worrying time now.

“The feared Brexit speculation that prices would fall is not speculation anymore - it is a reality.

 

“Hopefully the weather picks up and quick progress can be made through the main part of harvest and we can get next year’s crops back in the ground in decent conditions.”

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