Nick Rowsell cut his first block of spring barley at West Stoke Farm, Winchester, Hampshire, yesterday (1 August), but the remainder is still green.

The Concerto, grown on light land, yielded 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre). “It will be a bit below what we had hoped for, but considering the year I was quite pleased.”

The crop was considerably more even than other varieties, which Mr Rowsell had had to spray off because of extensive tillering.

Solstice winter wheat, which was also started yesterday, looked reasonable, he said.

“It was coming in at 16% moisture; I just can’t help myself when the sun is shining.”

Mr Rowsell had almost finished oilseed rape, with Cabernet yielding a record 5.38t/ha (2.18t/acre).

“Last year was our best ever, at 4.93t/ha (2t/acre), but this year has bettered even that. I was most surprised.”

That left the last block of Flash, sown late at 900 feet above sea level, to cut. “We’ll make a start on that today.”

Crop: Spring barley
Variety: Concerto
Yield: 6.8t/ha (2.75t/acre)

Crop: Oilseed rape
Variety: Cabernet
Area: 64ha (158 acres)
Yield: 5.38t/ha (2.18t/acre)