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Heatwave is last straw for some crop farmers

Spring barley crop badly affected by hot sunshine and no rain Photo: ITV Anglia

After the longest heatwave for more than 40 years it's been a boom and bust picture for the regions farmers. Some arable farmers are watching crops shrivel and die in the scorching sun but soft fruit growers and wine makers are enjoying a bumper year. Natalie Gray reports :

Six weeks of little or no rain and scorching temperatures means Nicholas Dean's field of spring barley is not coping at all well. He is a managing partner at Bure Farm Services farming 800 hectares near Wroxham in Norfolk.

"It's run out of moisture and it's stopped dead and died on its feet. If you were to just randomly pick a tiller out of barley you would normally expect this time of year to be about three times that length"

– Nicholas Dean, Bure Farm Services

But the heatwave is good news for soft fruit growers and wine makers in the East.

Heatwave is good news for soft fruit growers Credit: ITV Anglia

"The sunshine has made the fruit really sweet. All our soft fruits are tasting really good at the moment and that's related to the amount of sunshine we're getting. "

– Julian Mead, Fiveways Fruit Farm near Colchester
Winbirri Vineyard at Surlingham in Norfolk is hoping to produce the best grapes ever this year Credit: ITV Anglia

"Obviously there's still a long way to go yet for us, several weeks left but if it carries on yeah, we're looking at a very good year, a very, very good year . Probably the best year on record for growing grapes."

– Lee Dyer, Winbirri Vineyard