Harvest is just about finished in Shropshire, although farmers still have the odd fields of spring oats and rapeseed to cut.

“Wheat quality is very variable, and the whole job is sensationally difficult,” said David Roberts at Westbury-based merchant G.O. Davies.

“We’ve got wheat that’s anything from 50kg/hl upwards, and it’s incredibly variable even within a pile – I’ve never known anything like it.”

Only 10% of samples were above 72kg/hl, with half above 68kg/hl and the remainder below that.

“We are bringing samples back and retesting them on every load that is getting deductions – which is almost every load. It’s causing a lot of problems.”

Oat quality had also been variable, from 45-50kg/hl, said Mr Roberts. But winter and spring barley had been good, and oilseed rape was fine, too.

“Rapeseed oil contents have been surprisingly good; we’ve seen plenty at 45%, which is very good,” he added.