In the starting blocks at Blackditch

Winter barley is almost ripe at Blackditch Farm, Thame, Oxfordshire, but Justin Blackwood’s combine is yet to start rolling.

“It is very near. Some of the barley on the medium land will meet its full potential, but on the light ground it has really suffered.

“The wheat is going to be very variable too, where it died off rather than ripened,” he said.

“The combine meter will be going up and down as you go across different soil types.”

Further east, Peter Wombwell had tried to start combining oilseed rape at Rectory Farm, Ickleton, Essex, but it was not yet ripe.

“There are odd bits of barley being cut in the area – I think there will be a big start towards the middle and end of this week.”

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