Despite concerns due to the early harvest, farmers across the south are generally pleased with the quality of their wheat.

Kent farmer Martin Boulden was cutting wheat in September last year whereas he now expects to finish within a week.  He said: “It’s quite pleasing – we’re up on last year in both quality and quantity. We also have had no drying so far which is cost saving for us.”

Hereward yielded 9.38t/ha with Hagbergs of 400 and proteins of 14–15%, while Solstice was yielding 10–10.75t/ha with 12.5% protein.

Paul Carter in Dorset said his wheat had a nice bold sample with a good berry size. Zebedee yielded 10t/ha, Robigus at just over 10t/ha, and Claire at 9.5t/ha. Bushel weights were at 72–78kg/hl.

Last year harvest began on August 7 for Mr Carter, but up to today (August 8) he had cut 180ha of 240ha.

“At the moment we’re pleased but then you never know what is around the corner.”

Yields were slightly down on last year for Herefordshire farmer Peter Bawn, who expected to finish a fortnight earlier than last year. Nijinsky winter wheat was yielding 8.75t/ha, and quality was looking very well.

He said: “I was quite surprised. I thought it had dried out in areas but it is actually very good.”