27 May 1999
Atlantic climate key to wheat quality
FARMERS could forecast good or poor wheat harvests before they have planted a single seed by studying climate changes in the North Atlantic in winter, say scientists.
Researchers claim that the North Atlantic oscillation, which controls atmospheric pressure between the Azores and Iceland, provides a reliable guide to the quality of the wheat crop planted in spring and harvested in August.
One of the scientists involved is Peter Kettlewell from Harper Adams University College in Newport, Shropshire.
He says that the discovery could allow farmers and millers to be told in February the approximate size of the forthcoming harvest.
- The Times 27/05/02/99 page 12