NFU Scotland has provided the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead with an opportunity to witness the salvage operation for Scotland’s cereal harvest at first hand.
The Cabinet Secretary visited NFU Scotland President, Jim McLaren on farm at Dargill near Crieff where the current break in the weather has allowed crops, due to be harvested a month ago, to finally be combined.
The damage that the weather has wreaked on grain quality and yields in the past four weeks will have a significant impact on profitability for many of Scotland’s growers.
NFUS President Jim McLaren said:
“Every winter and spring, cereal farmers take a leap of faith when planting their crops for the coming year. While we can plan for some of the risks involved in growing a profitable crop, we can never afford to take the weather for granted.
“The picture around Scotland is very variable. For some, harvest has been completed in good time and with crops in good condition. For those parts of Scotland where wet weather has stalled progress, the deterioration in yields and quality has been drastic. At the start of this week, there were areas of Perthshire, Fife and the Borders with half their harvest to complete.
“This break in the weather will see parts of Scotland attempt to squeeze six weeks of harvesting into a one week period of dry weather. The demands on labour and machinery resources are huge but the clamour to get this year’s harvest out of the way is completely understandable.
“For many, this will be a harvest to forget. Unfortunately, coming on the back of rising input costs, the damage done to many farm incomes and bank balances will serve as a stark reminder of the 2008 summer for some time to come.”
National Evaluations Prompt 2009 Take-All Alert
Earlier Wheat Harvesting Priority Grows
Eastern Europe Cereal Output on the Rise