While other Worcestershire wheats, especially second crops on lighter land nearby, have suffered in the drought, first crop Einstein on Ian Sparey’s sandy clay soil at Tryfan Barn, Clifton on Teme held on to give 7.4-8.6t/ha (3-3.5t/acre) when the combine first went in yesterday.

“It hasn’t died off compared with some round here,” said Mr Sparey. Moisture content initially 14.5% soon fell to 13.2%, but he had no specific weight detail.

With another 81ha (200 acres) to cut he noted that the best yield in the first field came after beans rather than oilseed rape where grassweeds were more troublesome.

Earlier he had made his earliest start ever in oilseed rape, 20ha (50 acres) each of Lioness and Winner, on 17 July.

“We don’t usually go until the last week in July or the first week in August. It was all a bit too dry – down to 3.4% – but by combining at night we’ve sufficient to blend to a sensible level.

“They both did about 1.5t/acre, which is about average for us.”

The farm had about 7mm (0.3in) of rain straight after finishing the rape, but had so far escaped heavier storms. “We don’t have anything down.”