Harvest for Andrew Cooke in Shropshire has so far been better than expected.

“Given that it was all drying off so fast I’m pleasantly surprised.”

About 16ha (40 acres) of Carat winter barley cut a week ago at North Farm, Felton Butler gave 8.6t/ha (3.5t/acre) at 11.5-14% moisture.

“The bushel weight was 70kg/hl, and the straw made £50-55/acre, which isn’t bad. I can’t complain.”

Speaking to Farmers Weekly as he contract harvested Gerald oats nearby, he estimated yield to be nearly 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), but the key point was that the dry weather had retained the grain colour and quality.

“We’re cutting it with the straw a bit green which makes the combine sound more like a forage harvester at times.”

He grew no oilseed rape so wheat was set to follow shortly provided temperatures stayed high.

“It’s just on 15% moisture though the stems are still rather green, so it’s perhaps a touch too early. If it wasn’t so hot we probably wouldn’t go.”

But having missed all the earlier storms, he remained keen to take advantage of the fair spell.