Robert Shove in North Kent expected to start cutting oilseed rape next week with the crop “showing more potential than last year”.

Very dry weather last year meant it was a “disastrous year” and the crops died off very early. He said the recent wind and rain in North Kent meant crops were seven to 10 days later.

Rape variety Astrid was “standing beautifully” in the fields and Expert, a later maturing variety, was looking good but had only just been sprayed off. Low biomass variety Castille had gone flat in the field, and he said he would never grow Caracus again because it was “flat as a pancake”. Four hectares of Lioness was “standing fairly well”, with potential if it overcame its yield problems, he said.

Mr Shove added: “We had 75mm of rain in May which was very good for the crops but it meant the oilseed rape fell down. I’m fairly hopeful that this hot weather is bringing the crops along nicely.”