The farm market in Scotland has not only been put on hold this year as a result of the appalling weather but, when it does spring to life, it is likely to be a tightly compressed selling season.

According to chartered surveyor and land agent at DM Hall, Donald Yellowley, all stakeholders will have to be on their toes to take full advantage.

Mr Yellowley said: "And what a spell of weather it has been. Farmers across the country have suffered seemingly endless cold and rain, with little let-up in the damp conditions, constant flood warnings and more than 10 named storms."

According to Adaptation Scotland, the average annual rainfall in the last decade was 10% greater than the 1961-1990 average, with winter rainfall increasing by 29%. In December and January, the north-east received in excess of 170% more rain than average, according to the Met Office.

He continued: "Since two-thirds of Scotland already chalks up more than 40 inches (1,000mm) of rain annually, these additional downpours have significantly delayed farming activity across the board.

"Winter crops have been lost and had to be resown, whilst Spring sowing has been late in many cases, due to land being waterlogged, tractors unable to operate and damage to soil structure. Spraying and fertilising has also been significantly held up.

"Livestock farmers have had to keep animals indoors longer, racking up additional costs in feed and straw. There is a suspicion that the wet weather in the Autumn also brought problems with calving as it resulted in bountiful grass growth – improving the condition of cows and causing calves to grow too much. Lambing in April was also made difficult by the overly wet and cold weather."

Usually by this time of year, we would be seeing a number of Scottish farms already on the market with closing dates being set, but this year the weather, and its consequences have caused a significant delay to the selling season. Farmers have been understandably reluctant to let the brochure photographer record their fields with water lying in them.

"However, looked at optimistically, an average is only the typical value in a set of data and, if a year’s worth of rain has already fallen in the six months from October to March, perhaps it is statistically reasonable to expect that the summer will be dry and benign. We can but hope", said Mr Yellowley

"Certainly, fields are starting to dry out now, the grass is growing vigorously and those crops which have weathered the storms are looking better.

"Despite the fact that most farmers will still be catching up generally, there is a window of opportunity between now and the Highland Show at the end of June to showcase and shift their properties this year.

"The time to act is now, and the first step is to seek professional advice from a recognised rural specialist."