A 35-acre field of winter barley has landed north-east farmer Sandy Norrie the champion title in this year’s Turriff Show cereals competition.
Mr Norrie took the award after coming out top in the winter barley section with a field of Belfry, which is a new hybrid variety.
This is the first time the north-east grower has won the award in his own right, having previously won with his employer AJ Duncan of Muirhead, where he works as the farm’s arable manager.
Mr Norrie, who is also growing another hybrid variety – Bazooka – for the first time this year, said: “They are looking very good and they are very clean.” He said he expected to start cutting his winning block of Belfry next weekend.
Alistair Aitken of Headland Agrichemicals who judged the winter barley section and then the overall championship said he had no hesitation in awarding Mr Norrie’s block of Belfry the top title in the competition, which is sponsored by Scotgrain Agriculture.
“The crop had a good overall appearance – was nice and even, standing well and had a good ear and grain number, which should result in a pleasing yield at harvest.
“Its freedom from weeds and disease, with excellent green-leaf area prior to ripening, indicated the husbandry applied had been top-drawer,” added Mr Aitken.
He said his main observation when visiting crops across the region was that the effect of the dreich weather over the past few months.
“Frequent rains and lack of sunshine are now spoiling the yield potential of many crops in the area which is really disappointing. The effects are showing as increased ear disease and a variety of blind or shrivelled grains. The farmers have done their best, but unfortunately they are at the behest of the weather,” said Mr Aitken.
Winter barley: 1 – Sandy Norrie, Woodside of Wrae, Turriff, with Belfry; 2 – Greengrowers per D Green, Cushnie Farm, Auchterless, with Bazooka; 3 – Alan Gibb, Backhill of Seggat, Auchterless, with Cassia.
Spring barley: 1 – Alan Gibb with Scholar; 2 – David Allan, Mains of Melrose, Gamrie, Banff, with Chronicle; 3 – Dave Green, Mains of Whitefield, Forglen, with KWS Irina.
Winter wheat: 1 – Gordon Gammie, Knockleith, Auchterless, with Myriad; 2 – Peter Maxwell, Auldtown of Carnousie, Forglen, with Viscount; 3 – David Cruickshank, Logie Newton, Huntly, with Viscount.