John Best has had endless rain showers at Acton House Farm, Poyntzpass, Co. Armagh over the past week, and crops are now really suffering.

“The spring oats are taking a real hammering, and the winter wheat is ruffled, but not too bad at the moment,” he said.

“Unfortunately it’s not forecast to dry up any time soon – we’ve been cutting winter oats between the showers at 18.5% moisture and even in Ireland we like to get it in below that.”

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Yields, at least, had been good, with Mascani oats coming off at 7.4t/ha, said Mr Best.

Cabernet and Compass oilseed rape had also done well, at 4.3t/ha. “The Compass was the best, and it all required very little drying.”

However, having cut the oilseed rape and 16ha of winter oats before the rain came, Mr Best was now snatching crops in between the showers.

“The combine is just sitting there, blocked again,” he said. “The straw’s wet and the oats are damp. But at least we’re reasonably early.”

Winter wheat was now ripe, he added. “On the back of the oat yields, I would hope that the wheat will do well, too.”