Crops survey gets underway

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Scotland’s 2017 harvest has been a stop/start affair but breaks in the weather have allowed momentum to build.

Some drier weather in the past few weeks has allowed combines around the country to get on the move, bringing in crops. But the more recent damp weather means many, particularly in the west, still face tricky field conditions for harvest and almost all cereal growers will face additional drying costs to bring down moisture levels, so that crops can be stored without spoiling.

Although it may be some time yet before combines can be stored away, NFU Scotland is urging its members to find time to complete NFUS Annual Harvest Survey 2017 once combining is complete.

The survey covers wheat, barley, oats, oilseed rape, peas and beans.

This week, NFUS will also provide a snapshot of how its farmers have fared, not just in terms of yield and quality of the 2017 harvest, but to assess what progress has been made in ground work and planting crops for harvest next year.

Combinable Crops Committee chairman Ian Sands, who farms at Balbeggie, near Perth explained: “There is a lot of anecdotal evidence from members around the country on just how challenging a harvest this year’s has been with combines dodging between heavy showers of rain.

“As we now move into autumn, that means many still have a lot of crop still to cut, and those who have harvested will be facing additional drying costs.”

Peter Loggie, NFU Scotland’s arable policy manager added: “In order to build evidence on the 2017 Scottish harvest, we are currently running our annual Combinable Crops Survey.

“The survey will not only inform all of our members about the size of the harvest, but it is also one of the sources for the official harvest estimates for Scotland, the UK and the EU.

“Accuracy of the estimates depends on having information from as many of our growers as possible and I encourage all cereal growers to take part.”