Keith Snowball of J.L. snowball and partners, York, believes 2006 is a record breaking year for the start of wheat harvest.

Mr Snowball, a contractor, has never started wheat this early.

The wheat has been coming in at reasonable moisture content and Option has been yielding 3.2t/acre which Mr Snowball feels is respectable for a second wheat.

The barley which has been combined has been average for the area and there are no concerns over it.

However, oilseed rape is being combined with low moisture contents. It was down to 4.9% for a crop of Castille which was swathed six days beforehand. But yields have been reasonable at 3.7t/ha (1.5t/acre).

The duration of desiccation of the rape has also been affected by the weather conditions. Usually a waiting period of 14 days is needed after spraying before combining but combining is able to take place 8 days after spraying in some areas.

So far things have been hassle free with the only concern for Mr Snowball is the heat. “It needs to cool down. Some combines in the area have been reported as catching fire in this heat”.