UK floods damage feed and food crops
Farmers feel the impact of the ongoing flood crisis in the UK. The National
Farmers Union (NFU) has reported massive crop losses, drowned livestock, and the
possibility of the knock-on effects being felt well into the winter
Harvest and graded tonnages of seasonal vegetable crops are reported at
50%-60% at present which is sure to affect the industry well into 2008," the NFU
warned. Straw availability in the Southwest is also looking to be a major issue
this winter - of the straw that is available to bale, the quality is low because
of mould. Potato crops across the country have been hit particularly hard, with
waterlogged fields preventing machines starting the harvest. Pea crops have been
hit in the Northeast and East Midlands, with losses of up to 60%.
Effect on oilseed crops and wheat
Cereal and oilseed crops are
reported to be underwater in some areas. The oilseed rape crop in many parts of
the country is ready, but again, farmers are struggling to get their machinery
onto their waterlogged fields to start the harvest. The barley crop is in a
similar situation in the West Midlands, the NFU reported. However, in some
areas, the heavy rain and freak hailstorms have battered the oilseed rape crop
so much that there is very little to harvest.
The wheat crop appears to have
fared somewhat better - the majority of wheat crops across the UK are still set
for a reasonable harvest, according to UK cooperative, Grainfarmers. Wheat crop
losses to date, from the extreme weather conditions, are limited.
National Farmers Union
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