Essex farmer Guy Smith is “more optimistic this year” about crops on Wigborowick Farm, St Osyth. He said 52ha of Pearl winter barley had “decent potential” and looked good in the fields. He expected to start cutting by Monday and hoped the crop would meet malting standards.

Mr Smith said 200ha of winter wheat was “looking alright”. He was satisfied with the standard of first wheats, but said the second wheats needed more moisture than they had.

Eighty hectares of oilseed rape were of mixed quality, although it would be difficult to tell until combining started in a couple of weeks.

He added: “We are different from many farmers since the ground was much drier last year, so we hope things will be better this year.”