It cannot be denied that 2019 has proven to be a very slow year for crop circles in England. The Crop Circle Connector reports just eighteen having been reported, of which only six appeared before the end of June. Of this latter figure, all were in barley, making 2019 the first season in a very long time without a circle in oilseed rape.

Naturally, the question began to be asked: just where have all the crop circles gone? One answer that was touted and subsequently gained traction as a factoid concerns a supposed falling out between circle makers. Even veteran cerealogist and former ‘senior government officer’ Colin Andrews bought into this, bizarrely suggesting the attractive Rodfield Lane (Gander Down) circle in Hampshire was a symptom of this major disagreement.

The idea of a circle making schism comes from former circle maker Matthew Williams. This year he hit on the idea of establishing a rival to the Crop Circle Connector featuring circles made by friendly artists at undisclosed locations. As part of his scheme to render the Connector obsolete he used YouTube to criticise the work and character of circle makers who would not buy into his plot. Viewers of Williams’ channels were treated to a series of highly entertaining toddler tantrum rants as he failed to come anywhere near achieving success.

However, Williams is a former circle maker. He isn’t active. Therefore it makes no sense to attribute this year’s lack of circles on any falling out he may have instigated or been involved in. The Croppie is also unaware of any new divisions between active circle makers. It hasn’t happened.

If we’re looking for answers to this year’s crop circle shortage then here are a couple of questions to consider.

First, did the unusually late growth of the barley crop affect what appeared in the fields this year? Second, has the circle making force — or at least aspects of it — kept itself inactive for other reasons?

Whatever conclusions you reach with regard to these questions there certainly is no schism positioned behind them.