26 August 1997
Rain hits UK wheat and barley harvest
RAIN in eastern England and the south has disrupted the harvest of wheat and barley crops on thousands of farms. The weather is also threatening crops in the north of England and parts of Scotland.
Farmers can expect to see total earnings down £700m on last years harvest. Lower yields overall and a collapse in wheat and barley prices have hit farm profits. A strong pound, and carry-over stocks from last year have hit crop values with some wheat prices are 20% lower than in 1996 at around £70-£75/t. Many farmers are storing it in the hope that prices will rise later this year.
The Home Grown Cereals Authoritys early estimates put the wheat harvest at a total of 14-15 million tonnes. Last years bumper crop was 16.1mt. The total barley crop is expected to be slightly higher than last years 7.8mt.