Glen Sanderson has just started combining winter wheat at Eshott South Farm, Felton, Northumberland, and is so far disappointed with yields.

“We’ve cut some Viscount second wheat, which seemed to have a lot of take-all despite using Latitude seed dressing,” he said. “It’s too early to tell what it’s yielded but it won’t be any great shakes.”

Glacier winter barley had done well, yielding 8t/ha, while Compass oilseed rape had been reasonable, at 4.3t/ha.

“It looked far better than that – but the oil content is averaging 46.5%, with some samples up to almost 48%; so the bonus will help when it comes to selling it.”

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Harvest had been flowing along quite nicely before the rain arrived, and heavy deluges were now even hampering oilseed rape drilling, said Mr Sanderson.

“Touch wood, we haven’t had any major breakdowns. But up here the days are getting shorter, so you do start to worry a bit.

“But the first wheat looks good, and Newcastle United have got their first game on Sunday (17 August) so it will probably be dry – it will be toss up between combining and going with the kids to the match.”

With prices as low as they were, Mr Sanderson was not expecting to see a lot of shiny new machinery around after this harvest. “I think it will be a time for tightening the belt.”