Combines have been slow to start rolling on many farms across Scotland but momentum is now building for harvest 2016.
According to NFU Scotland’s annual harvest round-up, winter barley harvest is almost complete with farmers reporting yields and quality at or below average.
Winter oats cutting is now under way and growers in earlier areas are moving into fields of spring barley and wheat.
Many oilseed rape growers have been left disappointed after high winds in the middle of the month caused seedpods to shatter just as harvest approached.
However, growers are persevering with the crop and oilseed plantings are moving ahead.
In the north-east, growers have fared better than their counterparts elsewhere in the country with higher than average winter barley grain yields, however the straw yield has been disappointing.
Winter oats yields in the region have also been higher than expected, with moisture levels similar to winter barley.
Wheat is reported as “some way off” with growers trying to avoid heavy showers.
Andrew Moir, who farms at Mains of Thornton, near Laurencekirk, said some farmers in the region had started cutting spring barley with reports of “poorer than desirable yields but with low nitrogen levels”.
NFU Scotland’s Orkney regional chairman, Paul Ross, said harvest had not yet started on the islands and it was unlikely that anything could be done this month apart from some crimping at 35% moisture.
On the mainland, Peter Macdonald, from Byres Farm, Moray, said winter barley yields were back around a tonne per hectare on last year, and crop quality was poor with “light, thin grain with low weight”.
Spring barley cutting had started in Moray and Mr Macdonald cut 60 acres of Concerto on Monday at Nitrogen levels of between 1.42% and 1.63%, moisture of 18.5%, screening levels of 6.5% and a low percentage of skinning. He estimated yields to be 2.7 tonnes an acre.
NFU Scotland’s Highlands regional chairman Jim Whiteford, who farms near Tain, reported disappointing yields of 3.25tonnes an acre for Tower winter barley harvested on August 3.
His 62-acres of Alize winter oilseed rape had also been disappointing with winds knocking at least half a tonne an acre of yield to around 1.2 tonnes an acre.
Mr Whiteford said Concerto cutting had started a week earlier than last year, with yields at around 3 tonnes an acre at 1.4% nitrogen, 2% skinning and 18% moisture.
The union’s arable policy manager, Peter Loggie, urged all growers to participate in NFU Scotland’s Combinable Crops Survey 2016.