THIS YEAR'S spring sunshine is being matched with an optimistic outlook for local oil seed rape crops.
Fields across Stafford Borough have been ablaze with yellow flowers.
And farmers are looking forward to a better crop than last year's, which was beset with challengingly chilly weather conditions.
Mike Madders, who is growing 70-80 acres in Coppenhall this year, said: "It is looking to be a good crop, it has gone through the winter better this year.
"Flowering started about a month ago. With the warm, early spring it is growing better and it will be at least as good, if not better, than last year."
Sam Parrott, who farms with his father Tony in Acton Trussell, said flowering of their 85 acre oil seed rape crop had started earlier than last year.
"Last year the oil seed rape was terrible because it had such a difficult start. This year we have had a good winter," he added.