Oilseed rape harvest started on Andrew Philpot’s Suffolk farms near Ipswich on Monday, two to three days earlier than last year.

“Moistures have been between 6 and 11%,” he said. “We’re blending to get the right moistures in store.”

It’s too early to tell yields on his Expert, Winner and Lioness, he said, but confirmed his family’s Essex farms had yielded around 1.3t/ac “a bit down on normal”.

With no barley, wheat will be the main focus by the weekend, again a few days earlier than normal, Mr Philpot anticipated.

“Our wheat in Suffolk looks to have burnt off a bit early – particularly the second wheats. We’re expecting an average, not a bumper year with first wheats.”

Clare, Robigus and Malacca are being grown in the first wheat slot; Gladiator and Deben as second wheats.

Water shortages could be a problem for those irrigating with summer abstration, Mr Philpot noted. “We’re expecting restrictions to come in soon. We’re all winter storage here so should have enough. I’m holding some back to irrigate for lifting.”

Some of Mr Philpot’s Marfona and Estima crop had already been burnt off “for the early set skin bakers market.”

“Some are on contract, the rest on free buy,” he added.