The signs are showing that this year’s harvest has been a good one, but the National Farmers' Union (NFU) Scotland wants a bit more detail than that and is urging farmers to complete its 2021 harvest survey.
The better informed NFU Scotland is, the better placed it is to hold discussions with industry and government, Willie Thomson, NFU Scotland’s Combinable Crops Committee chair explained.
"We need to know what is going on across Scotland, otherwise we rely on data from the major cereal growing areas of the UK, which doesn’t always best represent our members’ businesses," he said.
The figures provided will also be used to add weight to NFU and AHDB’s harvest forecasts and are shared with Scottish and UK Governments to provide the most accurate harvest forecasts.
The more information that farmers provide the better, according to David Michie, NFU Scotland’s crops policy manager.
This information helps us identify regional issues that could bubble up further down the line. The hot, dry summer in the west has forced some farm businesses to start feeding this year’s silage, which could make grain availability very regionally important this winter.
"The information provided by the survey will be incredibly valuable to our regional and wider policy team," he said.
How to take part in the survey
The survey only asks for crop yields and areas, takes about five minutes to complete, and should be carried out when harvest is finished, or nearly finished.
Members who complete this year’s survey before the deadline on September 26, will have the chance to win a bottle of whisky.
"A few minutes of time multiplied up across farms throughout Scotland would add up to a powerful data source that can be used for the benefit of farmers throughout Scotland," Thomson added.
The NFU Scotland 2021 Harvest survey can be completed here.