Paul Christian said harvest was “awful” in Hertfordshire, with oilseed rape yields a “terrible” 2.5t/ha. He said yields were usually 3.5 – 3.75t/ha, but the dry weather had affected the crop this year.

The heat-wave had also affected the ground, and he was concerned he was likely to lose the top soil. “There are very dangerous cracks in the ground. You can get your foot down them.” He said the only good thing was that the crops did not need drying, but moisture levels were a low 5 – 6%.

“I was worried it was just a problem for us, but our neighbours are all saying the same.”

Mr Christian was also concerned for his maize. “We’ve never grown a crop like it. It’s not even up to our waist when it should be above our heads.”

Winter wheat on gravel land was very pinched and quite shrivelled, with a few green patches on heavier land. “A week ago we wouldn’t have dreamt of cutting it now, but it has ripened so quickly.”

He was to start cutting wheat today (July 21) which was “definitely very early”, and he expected yields to be down due to the lack of rain. “We’ve had no rain since June so everything has just died.”

• Crop: Oilseed Rape
• Yield: 2.5t/ha
• Quality: 5 – 6% moisture