An update from our partners at the Agronomy Institute of Orkney College UHI, Dr Peter Martin, about the sowing of this year’s bere barley crop.
PM: “The past winter was mild but wet which meant that we were only able to finish ploughing at the end of March. April continued to be very wet but, with help from our local agricultural contractor, we managed to finish planting most of our fields in a brief spell of dryish weather between 18 and 22 April. Two days after this, the fields were covered in snow!
“This year, the Orkney Bere supply chain is aiming to expand production and is planting more than 30 hectares of the crop. Growers Sydney Gauld (Quoyberstane Farm, St Ola) and Magnmaus Spence (Northfield, Burray) have been joined by Mhari Linklater (Inganess Farm, St Ola). The Institute has also put two new fields down to Bere, one on Weyland and Watersfield Farm [seen below] and the other at Muddisdale on the edge of Kirkwall.