Borders farmers are reporting mixed yields across all crops while rushing to get the harvest in during the late summer’s dry weather.
Berwickshire NFU branch chairman Neil White of Greenknowe Farm, Swinton, Duns, who is a member of the union’s regional board and national combinable crops committee, said: “The harvest is moving on quickly and it seems to be a very mixed bag. All crops, so far, have had very variable yields with some suffering more than others from the difficult growing season.
“Spring barley nitrogen levels also seem to be variable with many being too high to make the malting grade, a worrying scenario with lots of barley on farm waiting for a decision on final use, malt or discounted feed.
“The compacted nature of this harvest, where everything has ripened at once, has caused many storage and harvest headaches, but to be able to harvest crops and clear fields in the sunshine this year, so far, has been a pleasure.”
He cautioned fellow farmers putting in long hours to be safe: “We see too many tragic accidents at harvest time and we must take care to work safely and reduce the risks.”
Meanwhile, Berwick’s Stuart Forsyth will represent Scotland in the European Vintage Ploughing Championships in Nottinghamshire this weekend.
The 66-year-old, who has been ploughing competitively for 20 years, competes for his country for the fifth time after qualifying at the 2012 Scottish Championships at Coldstream. Younger brother Robin from Dunbar will plough in the vintage class.