A Stop Start Affair – Harvest 2019

Harvest is underway at Hopetoun but is proving a stop start affair for our contractors RM & JF Seed, as a result of the spell of prolonged inclement weather.

The campaign actually began on the 8th July 2019 with the forage rye which was cut with a forage harvester as opposed to a combine. The crop is grown on contract as biomass for an anaerobic aerobic digester plant near Glasgow. Once harvested it is stored in a silage clamp at Niddry for later transit to the plant. The gas produced from the fermentation process in the digester is used for energy production. Yields were very pleasing with some fields producing in excess of 50 tonnes per ha of fresh weight crop.

The early harvest period for rye allows for a timeous entry for next year’s crop of oil seed rape and preparations for this were completed in the form of drainage improvements and application of organic fertiliser. Following sowing into some excellent seedbeds, the crop has now emerged.

The current year’s crop of oil seed rape has been harvested in between catchy showers and biblical down pours, resulting in a very much “cut when you can” approach to harvest with the combine working long into the night! Needs must and the yield results have been encouraging at 4.5 tonnes per ha. The crop is being stored at Trinlaymire and its ultimate end use will be for industrial lubricant or food oil.

Spring Barley for malting has been harvested producing a very satisfactory sample with good quality characteristics. Winter Oats are currently being harvested at a pleasing yield of 7 tonnes per ha and subject to quality specifications being attained will end up as porridge oats. Winter Wheat which looks very promising this year is ready and ripe to cut and is the next priority in terms of combining.  The final crop to cut will be winter beans which are destined for human consumption in Egypt if their current quality can be maintained.

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Categories:  Hopetoun Estate