I farm: “About 100ha of tillage between owned and leased land. My son, John, helps during the holidays. I do a bit of contracting on top of that and I share machinery with my brother, George, and his son, Harry.”

Robert Milne was cutting spring barley for Waterford Whisky. \ Patrick Browne

Harvest under way: “I cut oats on Sunday and Monday. They ranged from 3.3t/ac to 3.8t/ac. The KPH was good, mostly around 55. They were Husky oats and the moisture was around 18%; 3.8t/ac was nearly our best ever yield.”

Oilseed rape: “We’re on to the oilseed rape now. We started it on Monday. There are two varieties – Acacia and Anastasia. The moisture is about 12%. On the last field, it did around 2t/ac. I’m very happy with that. It’s very hit and miss. We grow it as a break crop, but the price is good this year. I forward sold to Glanbia at €495/t but there’ll be moisture deductions on that.”

Robert Milne commented that machinery costs have 'rocketed'. \ Patrick Browne

Spring barley: “The spring barley is next. We might cut the distilling barley tomorrow [Wednesday] if the weather stays fine. That’s for Waterford Whisky and we have malting barley for Boortmalt as well.”

Waterford Ballymorgan: “I like growing for Waterford [Distillery]. Waterford come along and say ‘you grow great barley and we’re going to make great whisky out of it’. It’s lovely to see it being turned into a very good product.”

Robert Milne does some contracting and shares machinery with his brother George.. \ Patrick Browne

Chopping straw: “We’re chopping the oilseed rape straw for the scheme, some wheaten straw and we chopped oaten straw. We’ve chopped everything so far. Some wheaten straw will go for mushroom compost. I’m very glad of the scheme. It will put a base on the price and it’ll be paid for on time.”

Spiralling costs: “Machinery costs have rocketed and fertiliser costs will be a challenge. Prices are high this year, but the last time that happened the fertiliser prices followed them up, and the following year the price of corn dropped and it left a bad taste.”