Concerns over a potential replay of the 2012 drought have been circulating among cereal growers.
Weather in the Midlands and eastern parts of the country has been exceptionally dry, with vulnerable sandy soils receiving only half the rainfall seen in the same period last year.
Growers attending an ADAS Gleadthorpe meeting in Nottinghamshire last week reported crops were ’dying in the ground’.
Julian Powell, who farms at Lound, Nottinghamshire, said the lack of wet weather forced him to irrigate his winter wheat and winter barley crop for the first time since the 1980s.
“The crops are really suffering,” Mr Powell said.
“Barley is suffering worse than wheat but it is all very bad and I cannot irrigate it all.
“It seems as though with climate change, we get everything in excess and a lot of wind has dried everything out.”
It came as Farmers Guardian’s In Your Field writer Russell McKenzie, Cambridgeshire, said he had seen only 1.8mm of rain since February.
He predicted a repeat of the 2012 drought which saw southern and eastern areas slapped with a hosepipe ban.
Farmers Weather forecaster Dr Simon Keeling said conditions were expected to stay mostly dry into next week.
“There will be a strengthening easterly wind developing and this will further lead to soil moisture deficits as the ground dries out even further,” he said.
“Current thoughts are that more mixed weather may hang around for several days, although we do expect warmer and drier weather to return again at the end of the month and into early June.”
It came as northern parts of Scotland and Wales experienced freezing temperatures and snow showers over the Bank Holiday weekend, while the south of England basked in warm sunshine.