The news that Meteorologists tell us that we have just experienced the driest September to March for 20 years won’t surprise any farmers in the South East of England, including me.

All winter I’ve been able to drive around my farm like it was summer. Even my heaviest land has been perfectly passable with a Landrover Defender through the winter months to the point where my quad bike has gathered dust and I’ve not had to walk anywhere.

Up until very recently, all this dryness has only been a boon. An open autumn allowed me to sow my wheat into a lovely seedbed in November (I delayed sowing to reduce the germination of herbicide resistant black grass) on land that is normally partially waterlogged by late September.

Similarly, I was able to graze and feed my cattle outside without poaching my pastures for most of the winter, greatly reducing the amount of bedding straw we used and the amount of farmyard manure to be spread out of yards. Equally advantageously, I’ve been able to get all my spring drilling done in a timely fashion. And all the while, although it has been dry, there has always been just enough rain to germinate any crops sown and keep the grass growing. But while, as my grandfather used to say, “March dust is worth a guinea an ounce,” a dry April is a different matter. As I write, this April is nearly done and my farm has seen hardly any rain. What did fall was not enough to settle the dust, let alone germinate thirsty seeds or wash recently applied ammonium nitrate into my now nutrient hungry late sown wheat crops.

If we don’t get some rain soon (and let’s hope that by the time you read this it is stair rodding down outside your farmhouse window) my pastures will soon be brown, my spring sown crops an embarrassment, and my wheat crop thin as the late tillers give up the fight for survival.

But as I fret I remind myself of another of my grandfather’s sayings: “A dry summer never broke a farmer.” What he meant, of course, was that although yields of crops can be severely reduced by dry weather, everything that the farmer does can be done cheaply. The quality of the grain, rape or grass that is harvested will generally be quite high and – because yields are suppressed – values greatly enhanced.

Of course, what my grandfather did not benefit from was the safety net of a basic payment scheme to bail him out of the ever risky business of farming. So, as I drive around my parched farm, I wonder what he would have thought of the fact that, last summer, two thirds of farmers voted to abandon that European Union safety net in favour of free trade and the World Trade Organisation. “Nowt so queer as folk?”