Winter barley harvest started two days early this year for Charlie Watson-Smyth in Padstow, Cornwall. “It is very hot and dry. We always start harvest on 10th July, but this year we started on the 8th.”

Forty hectares of Antonia yielded 5.6t/ha, which was 1.25t/ha down on last year due to the dry weather. He said the straw yields were ok but the grain was light and dry. Bushel weights were also lower than last year, but the crop had all been sold to local mills.

Mr Watson-Smyth expected spring barley to be ready in the last few days of July, but he said the crop was very dry. “We’re the driest spot in Cornwall, so the spring barley is very thin and short.”

In contrast, Deben winter wheat was looking good: “It withstood the heat better than the barleys did.” He expected to start cutting winter wheat on 1 August.

• Crop: Winter Barley
• Variety: Antonia
• Area: 40ha, 20ha remaining
• Yield: 5.6t/ha
• Quality: N/A