Robert Shove in North Kent was today finishing cutting 368ha of oilseed rape. Yields had been better than the “disaster” of last year at 3.4-3.7t/ha.

“None of the crops did outstanding, but yields were about our average.”

He said Lioness had done poorly compared with the other varieties. “I think it is a poor variety. There was a question mark about growing it during testing last year.”

Expert had suffered with many red seeds, but had gone through the crusher without any problems. “Patches of Castille were a bit flat, but Caracas was appallingly flat. I’ll never grow it again.”

Astrid was the better variety because it had stood better than Expert, he said. “I’m not too disheartened about the yields because we’re in a drought-prone part of the world.” Most of the crop had been sold on contract already.

Mr Shove said winter wheat was looking ok and people in the area had been “pleasantly surprised” with the wheat they had already cut.

With only a small amount of lodging in the overlaps on the headlands he said: “I’m hopeful for our wheat because 99.9% of it is still standing nicely.”

• Crop: Oilseed rape
• Variety: Lioness, Castille, Caracas, Expert, Astrid
• Area: 368ha
• Yield: 3.4 – 3.7t/ha