In an article for ITV News, farmer Gareth Barlow describes the tough year for the industry and calls for better contingency crisis planning
The cereal company Weetabix, based in Northamptonshire, has had to halt production on some products, after last year's poor wheat harvest.
The boss of Tesco has unveiled measures to avoid another horsemeat scandal, including buying more British meat and conducting its own tests.
Tim Jones, a livestock farmer from Worcestershire, told Daybreak that "things are undoubtedly tough" for farmers.
He said a harsh winter has been followed by a run of dry weather, which has left livestock farmers like him, "desperately short of grass" for the sheep.
"Input costs have gone up, with animal feed now 18% more expensive than it was 12 months ago", he added.
Food prices are likely to rise after UK farmers reported a poor harvest due to the rainy summer.
Today Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will address farming representatives at a summit which will discuss ways of improving farmers' access to financial support.
- A decline in winter wheat of around 12%, with some crops written off, the crop will rely on good growing conditions from now on
- Demand of winter barley and oats has declined, and planting has suffered, winter oats could in stead be replaced by spring oats
- A quarter of oilseed rape is in a "very poor condition"
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will host a summit for farming representatives, charities and banks to discuss the effects of last year's bad weather on the industry.
Following the second wettest year since records began, farmers have warned that heavy rainfall could affect the price of food.
Long-term averages of 30-year periods show an increase in annual rainfall of about 5% from 1961-1990 to 1981-2010:
- 1961-1990: 1100.6mm
- 1971-2000: 1126.1mm
- 1981-2010: 1154.0mm
Source: Met Office
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said the UK should be "proud" of the "fantastic" job farmers do.
He will hold a summit today to discuss the financial worries of many farmers after a year of bad weather.
He added: "This last year has been particularly tough. Farming contributes a huge amount to our environment and our economy.
"We want to ensure that farmers are able to deal with challenges like bad weather, to grow their businesses, create new jobs and help the country compete in the global race."
A landmark summit will be held by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson to help farmers after a "particularly tough" year.
Banks, charities and farming representatives will attend the meeting at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Ways of improving farmers' access to financial support after a year of bad weather will be discussed.
Almost 29,000 farm animals died following recent cold weather in Northern Ireland, it was revealed today.
Massive snow drifts in parts of counties Down and Antrim left sheep stranded in remote areas and British and Irish relief helicopters were brought in to air lift feed.
Stormont Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said 28,437 fallen animals had been collected.
Some of the worst snow to affect the rural community for years fell at the end of March and the ground remained treacherous well into April.
The Agriculture Minister intends to bring to the Stormont ministerial Executive proposals for a hardship scheme.
This will be capped at a maximum of 7,500 euro (£6,320) per farmer, including the collection and disposal costs of the fallen animals.
In a statement Weetabix have confirmed that they have had to halt production of two cereals due to the impact of last year's bad weather on the wheat crops.
We can confirm that unfortunately due to technical issues we have been unable to make Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize to our exacting standards and have taken the decision to reduce production to resolve the issues.
This has meant a shortage of supplies of these products to the retailers.
This is a temporary reduction in production and we are working hard to fully restore normal capacity so our consumers can once again enjoy the products at their best quality.
– Weetabix statement
The Weetabix Minis and Oatibix Bitesize range are made in a unique factory and no other produce made by The Weetabix Food Company are affected. We apologise for the inconvenience that this may have caused our consumers but assure them of our commitment to make great tasting nutritional breakfast cereals of the highest quality.
The problem is linked to the quality of wheat caused by the extreme wet and cold weather during last year’s growing season. We remain committed to sourcing local wheat, weather permitting.
It is not an April Fool, this lamb really does have five legs. Quinto, who was named by our reporter, was born on Whitehouse Farm in Morpeth. She is healthy and doing well.