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.
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.