About half-way through the oilseed rape at Penn Croft Farms, Farnham, Surrey, Giles Porter reckoned harvest was going “pretty well” considering crops went off rather faster than he would have liked.

Yields of Es Astrid, Castille and Lioness were all not far off the farm’s average at 3.7- 4.2t/ha (1.5-1.7t/acre), he estimated.

“We’ve got about 350 acres left to do. Moistures were down to 5.5% when we started. But we had 7-8mm of rain on Saturday which has brought it back to 9%.”

Mr Porter said he was reluctant to consider adding water directly to the very dry seed. “We’ll just blow it on humid days to try to put some moisture back in.

“Of the three varieties I reckon Lioness is the poorest so far.”