2020欧洲杯足球即时比分

Fears of food price surge after heavy rain washes out UK crops

Rain in the autumn and winter has been at a 30-year high

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The flood water at Fishlake, in Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Prolonged downpours have left land across the country waterlogged  Credit: Richard McCarthy / PA

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Extreme rainfall which has left parts of Britain underwater may push up food prices and pile pressure on farmers’ finances as crops are washed out, agriculture experts have warned.

Prolonged downpours have left land waterlogged and may cause shortages of homegrown produce as farmers are unable to sow. Time is running out for farms to save the harvest with spring planting, says the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which represents farmers.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分It called the situation “one of the most challenging for growers in recent times”.

Rain in the autumn and winter has been at a 30-year high with more than twice the number of continuous rain days compared with a year before. The AHDB is warning even its mid-range forecast for wheat production for the 2020/21 growing season will be 10.7 million tons, the lowest in 20 years. A worst-case scenario expects just nine million tons.

Recent rain has limited the sowing of winter crops so farmers are pinning their hopes on spring plantings. David Eudall, an AHDB crop specialist, said: “This is not an emergency – there is still time to plant but it is running out.”

Unless the weather dries up, letting farmers work the land, lower harvests may mean producers have to import grain to make up the shortfall, raising costs and pushing up food prices. A further warning sign was a forecast jump in land left fallow – up 50pc on the year. The AHDB said for some farmers leaving land unplanted was “the best option” instead of wasting seeds.

The National Farmers Union (NFU)echoed the wet weather warnings. Dr Mhari Barnes, an NFU policy adviser, said: “We will see a delay to spring [planting], which means higher costs.”

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Retailers played down the likelihood of a surge in food prices, saying supermarkets are skilled at finding alternative supplies and are ready to absorb higher costs.

2020欧洲杯足球即时比分Andrew Opie, of the British Retail Consortium, said chains “will do their best to shield consumers from potential cost implications”.

Fears of food price surge after heavy rain washes out UK crops