While the east of the country has been basking in a heatwave, farmers in the west have been rained off for at least three days.

“It’s been too wet to combine over the weekend and most of my neighbours and I have been stopped for three or four days,” said Andrew Craig from Westwood Farm, Much Wenlock, Shropshire.

“We’re just desperate for sun.”

With the soggy ground conditions, Mr Craig’s tracked combine had been a saving grace.

So far he had managed to cut all of his winter barley, which yielded between 7.85t/ha and 8.5t/ha.

He had also harvested all of his rapeseed, split predominantly between Excalibur and Cabernet, which yielded up to 4t/ha.

Wheat was also underway, although the small percentage cut so far hadn’t brought good news.

“Winter wheat just hasn’t performed,” he said. “The Grafton has been devastated by fusarium.”

Mr Craig had 320ha of wheat left to cut, split between Diego, Invicta, and Grafton, with a little bit of Relay.

However, with poor results already, he was not holding out much hope of high yields.


Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Cabernet and Excalibur
Area: 132ha
Yield: <4t/ha