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Scotland Survey Shows Half of Farmers Have Yet to Finish Sowing

Half of Scottish farmers surveyed have yet to finish planting winter crops for harvest in the coming season because of wet weather, said Scotland’s National Farmers Union.

A fifth of producers still need to harvest more than 10 percent of their grain or potatoes, NFU Scotland said today in an online statement, citing its survey of more than 450 farmers. One in 10 has gathered no more than 50 percent of crops and half of farmers needed extra cash to stay in business, it said.

“What the survey has also done is clarify just how difficult 2012 has been,” NFU Scotland President Nigel Miller said in the statement. “For those with crops, the relentless rain endured over many months has hammered crop yields and quality, driven significant costs into harvesting, left many crops still standing in the fields and winter seed in the shed unsown.”

Two-thirds of livestock farmers had to buy feed and bedding exceeding budgets and 75 percent moved animals into barns earlier than normal because of the wet conditions, according to NFU Scotland.

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