Mark McFerran is hoping to start combining winter barley at Battletown Farm, Newtonards, Co Down, tomorrow (25 July).

“If we don’t get on tomorrow it should be Saturday,” he said. “We’ve only got 10ha and it’s been later than other barley all year.”

Some people had cut winter barley in the area, and Mr McFerran said he had heard mixed reports.

“Some crops are good and some are not so good, depending on how well established they were in the autumn.

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“But we’ve had plenty of summer sun and enough rain to keep things going, so conditions are ideal now.”

After the barley would be winter wheat and spring barley, although they were still some way off, said Mr McFerran.

“I’ve heard reports of big straw yields, but we’ll just have to wait and see once we get into the crops for real.”