This year's wheat harvest has been significantly reduced following a summer of persistent and at times torrential rain, sparking fears of food price rises. A survey of arable farmers by the National Farmers Union has found yields of wheat down 14.1% on the five-year average.
The organisation's annual harvest survey found that average yields for wheat had dropped from 7.8 to 6.7 tonnes per hectare. Not all crops have suffered the same with increased yields of Winter Barley and Oilseed Rape, though there was a fall in Spring Barley.
– Guy Gagan, National Farmers Union
We have seen a relatively low wheat yield this year, below seven tonnes per hectare. This is something not seen in the UK since the late 1980s. The abnormally high rainfall across the UK since early summer this year has depressed wheat yield. The poor UK harvest compounds a series of challenging weather events for farmers around the world, most notably drought in North America. The resulting tight supplies of many feed grains have driven up the prices of agricultural commodities around the world. These UK harvest results will do little to alleviate the global dynamics of commodity prices.
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There could be fewer crops and higher prices for fruit and vegetables after weeks of record rainfall. Farmers in our region are warning that their fields are waterlogged, making planting and harvesting more difficult.
Field conditions are so bad that harvesting machines are gettingstranded in several feet of mud. Here, another tractor is on standbyto pull the harvester free.
At TH Clements near Boston the cauliflower crop is being harvested but the rain means they are currently 4-5 weeks behind. Planting schedules are having to be rearranged to fit in a second crop to try to avoid shortages.
There could be fewer crops and higher prices for fruit and vegetablesafter weeks of record rainfall. Farmers in our region are warning thattheir fields are waterlogged, making planting and harvesting moredifficult.
The National Farmers' Union has warned that there could be loweryields later in the year because normal growing has been so badlydisrupted. There are reports of farmers abandoning machinery in fieldsand working by hand because of poor conditions.
If fewer crops are harvested, prices could rise in the shops as demandfor produce that is I'm short supply increases.
Farmers in our region are warning we could soon be paying more for fruit and vegetables in shops because of the wet weather. They are struggling to plant crops in waterlogged fields after two of the wettest Spring months on record. The amount harvested is expected to fall.