This week, we reveal another of the many problems associated with this year’s unusual spring weather patterns. On page 39, Andy Doyle reports on how some combination of cold conditions, growth regulator application and the development stage of individual stems, appears to have badly affected some crops of winter-sown spring oats.

This freakish occurrence has left the bulk of these crops heading out at 8in to 10in tall. And the ears that are emerging are small and damaged and one cannot be very hopeful for grain fill. This will represent a serious loss of yield which should not arise following the application of any input.