More rain due – but farmers’ drought fears remain

Forecasters say more rain is on the way after unsettled weather brought a welcome respite to parched crops.

Rain over the weekend and into Monday helped to make the soil sticky in places – although more is needed to revive wilting crops.

See also: 9 tweets that show impact of dry weather

In the Cotswolds, Martin Smart recorded 16mm of rain overnight – helping to make soil sticky under foot.

In Kent, agronomists and farmers attending the first of this week’s Disease Force meetings were forced to shelter under umbrellas.

Growers will be hoping that any rain does more than wet the surface.

At the Allerton Project in Leicestershire, Phil Jarvis said he hoped crops received a much-needed drink before rain disappeared down the cracks in the soil.

Farmers have warned that yields could be down 20% or more without adequate moisture.

However, not all crops are suffering.

In Shropshire, Mark Lea posted a photo of some thriving organic oats.

The break in the weather follows one of the driest winter’s on record – and an ongoing lack of rain that has stunted arable crops and grass growth.

The Met Office suggests the weather will continue to be unsettled for the remainder of the week, with rain at times and strengthening winds.

Monday night is expected to remain cloudy into Tuesday with further outbreaks of rain, mainly in the North and West, and a widespread hill fog.

Tuesday is set to start cloudy with patchy rain before gradually turning drier and brighter from the North West, but staying rather cloudy and humid in the South East.

The outlook for Wednesday onwards is for rain in the South East, with some sunshine and showers elsewhere.

Thursday and Friday will have sunshine and showers, some heavy, with thunderstorms becoming more likely.

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