Harvest has been a very disappointing affair at Priors Farm, Newbury, Berkshire, with yields and quality looking generally poor.

“We’ve finished the Tipple spring barley and it was really pretty bad,” said Richard Brown. “I think it’s reverting to some of its parent stock, and it just died off – I won’t be growing it again.”

The Tipple yielded just over 5t/ha – but Propino looked a lot better, he added. “It’s not quite fit, but it has a much bolder sample.”

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Mr Brown and his son George (pictured) had also cut Mascani winter oats, which had produced a nice sample, but yielded a slightly disappointing 8t/ha. “We had expected 8.6t/ha or more.

“We’ve loaded it into Hampshire Grain, and the driver said a lot of oats were so low in bushel weight that they weren’t making fully weighted loads – at least ours have done that.”

Mr Brown had done a few rounds with the combine in Santiago winter wheat, but decided it wasn’t fully fit, so stopped again. “It’s just terrible – the sample is awful,” he said.

“Everyone’s saying the same around here – nothing’s very good. My neighbour’s oilseed rape yielded not much over 2.5t/ha and I don’t know anyone’s who’s happy with rapeseed this year.”

With nothing ready to cut, Mr Brown was expecting a weekend off from combining, before starting again either at home or on contract farms early next week.

“The Propino could be ready then, and the organic crops at Sheepdrove are almost ripe, too.”