Vining pea yields in Scotland look set to outstrip those in England, where yields could be down 30-40% on average, according to Geoffrey Gent of the Processors and Growers Research Organisation (PGRO).

South of the border, the growth rates of the 2006 crop have suffered from the wet, cold May followed by a hot June and recent drought conditions.

This has left growers who only sow peas on a single soil type particularly vulnerable.

But the potential to increase the acreage grown in Scotland in future years could be limited by lack of processing facilities in the north, said Mr Gent.

Fred Richardson, manager of East Coast Viners’ pea operation, added:

“Growing conditions have been conducive for good crops and there is plenty of green cover, even with the heat.

“Crops are certainly looking well and there is the potential for a good harvest.”

But he cautioned against being over-optimistic too early.