Scotland’s farmers suffer ‘worst ever’ harvest


Farmers in Scotland face having to abandon crops due to appalling ground conditions and sprouted grains.

John Hutcheson said this year’s harvest was the worst ever at Leckerstone Farm, Dunfermline, Fife.

"It’s not going well at all – it’s even worse than 2008,” he said.

Of 486ha (1200 acres) of wheat, Mr Hutcheson still had 154ha (380 acres) to combine, much of which was starting to sprout.

“It’s been a real struggle – we’ve cut no wheat under 20% moisture and plenty at 25% or higher, which causes all sorts of problems with the machinery,” he said.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katia knocked 15-20% of the grains out of the remaining wheat, so yields were unlikely to match the earlier excellent yields of 9.4t/ha (3.8t/acre). 

“There are some fields which I think we’re going to have to abandon, for the first time ever,” he added. 

“It is going to be the best harvest there never was.”

Last week’s high winds also damaged newly-sown rapeseed crops on light soils in Yorkshire, said David Padgett at Argrain. 

“It just blew the seeds out, so there has been quite a bit of redrilling in the area.”

The Met Office was forecasting more high winds in the North at the end of September, with widespread frosts early in October.

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