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Winter damages wheat harvest

There's a warning that wheat harvests could be badly hit by a winter of bad weather.

On the day thousands of farmers from across the UK travel to Lincolnshire for a major farming convention, the National Farmers Union says yields could be as much as 30 percent down, because of flooding and snowfall which affected the winter planting. Simon Fisher is from the National Farmers Union.

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Bad weather hits wheat harvest

Flooding and severe snowfalls over the winter are likely to affect this year's wheat harvest, reducing it by almost 30% on last year. The National Farmers' Union says figures show the area planted with winter wheat was down by a quarter on the previous year. Bad weather has had a further impact.

If the results of the snapshot poll are repeated nationally, wheat production will be below average for the second year in a row. A separate NFU survey revealed 45% of arable farmers are less confident about the prospects for their farm businesses in the next 12 months compared with last year.

Our poll is a snapshot but it is extremely worrying that planted area remaining viable for 2013 harvest on those farms looks set to be 29% smaller than last year. If this plays out nationally, we will be below average production for the second year in a row. The saving grace in past years has been crop protection technology which can help maintain yield potential and all important grain quality by guarding against pests and ensure crops are more drought and flood resistant.

– Andrew Watts, National Farmers' Union

But lobbying has forced restrictions on the use of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which are being banned over concerns about their impact on bees, and fungicides known as triazoles are also facing potential restrictions which could further impact on yields.

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NFU warns to expect lower wheat harvest

The National Farmers' Union says this year's wheat harvest is likely to be smaller than last year's due to extreme weather. Figures show the area planted with winter wheat is down a quarter on the previous year.

Wheat harvest Credit: Press Association

The warning comes on the day that many of the region's farmers head to a major arable farming event in Lincolnshire. Cereals at Boothby Graffoe near Lincoln includes an Arable Conference where some of the biggest issues to affect crop farmers will be discussed.


Badger cull, full report

Animal rights activists from across the Midlands have been campaigning against plans to introduce a badger cull.

Farmers say the animals spread Bovine TB to cattle, and they're losing hundreds of thousands of pounds each year because they're having to slaughter their herds.

The government wants to run a trial cull, which would allow farmers to shoot up to 70 per cent of the badgers in certain areas.

Supporters claim it's vital to help prevent the spread of the disease. But campaigners say it won't work and it's unethical.

Overwhelming majority in Midlands against badger cull

92% of people who took part in ITV Central's vote are against the badger cull Credit: Chris Halpin

ITV Central held a poll today to find your feeling towards the government's proposed badger cull as a measure to control the spread of Bovine TB.

The results, as can be seen in this chart, are an overwhelming majority at 92% against the cull, with just 8% saying they agree.

For more on this story see our coverage here

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