Is It Summer Yet?

Not judging by the frost on the cars in my part of North Yorkshire this morning it isn't. No, I'm not peeping out from under the duvet (never go under my duvet, that's a golden rule). I've already been out for my morning constitutional with Nogger's Dog, Chummy and very pleasant it was too, if somewhat "parky".

Local temperatures got down to -1.4C apparently, although this might be the last of this run of "pretty unusual cold nights" according to

They are giving lows for the weekend here of 2/3C, with daily highs of 16C. By next Weds they are forecasting lows of 9C and highs of 22C, so let's hope that things are going to start to look and feel a bit more summery from now on.

The main reason that they see things warming up a bit is that we "finally lose that north or northeasterly wind which has persisted for so long. Instead the winds will begin to come in from more of a westerly quarter as low pressure develops to the north of the country."

That comes, as ever with the English weather, a caveat or two; "This means that it won't be particularly settled with rain or showers likely, particularly towards the northwest," they say.

Right now everything looks and feels a bit retarded, like an X Factor semi-finalist. I have a gut feeling that yields are going to disappoint this year, and it seems that I am not alone.

Our garlic-munching, strike-loving scaredy cats the French seem to agree with me.

Strategie Grains have today cut their estimate for EU-27 soft wheat production by 1.2 MMT to 133 MMT, citing the generally dry and cold weather conditions we've seen so far this year in the UK, France, Germany and Scandinavia.

With durum wheat production coming in at 8.4 MMT, that gives us an all wheat crop of 141.4 MMT this year. That's 3.7 MMT less than the hapless USDA's estimate released on Tuesday. It's still an increase on 2009's all wheat output of 3.5 MMT, or 2.5%, mind, so don't go getting carried away with ideas that there's going to be a shortage just yet.

"Once the harvest clearance period of probable downward pressure has passed, the potential for EU prices movements will be upward," they helpfully advise.