In the starting blocks at St Osyth

Guy Smith expects to start combining oilseed rape at Wigborowick Farm, St Osyth, Essex, on Monday (11 July).

“We sprayed it off seven to 10 days ago, so next week we’ll be all go, given some sunny weather.”

He said it was incredibly difficult to forecast how the crops would yield. “After the driest spring in 100 years you can’t expect a bumper harvest.

“We were on the brink of disaster, but we had three inches of rain in June. I don’t know how much the crops were able to compensate for the dry spell after that.

“I’ve never known a harvest that is so difficult to call.”

See more