Poor wheat harvest could push up the price of bread

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The worst wheat harvest in four decades could push up the prices of flour and bread, farmers have warned.Heavy rains and flooding meant only 40% of wheat was sown last year compared to normal, while this year droughts followed by rains in summer resulted in a poor quality crop.

The crop crisis, as well as the risk that Britain’s agricultural sector could be hit with tariffs if Brexit negotiations fail, could push up the price of flour and bread.

Farmers told Sky News they feared the price of wheat would rise with a ripple effect on consumers.

Ed Horton, a farmer near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, said: “It has a huge ripple effect on our finances. We produced a third of what we normally would, so there is a big hole in our cash flow and we had to replace wheat with other crops that we are not making as much money from.

“For the food chain, there is a lack of quality wheat produced domestically, so we may end up having to import wheat from other parts of the world.”

National Farmers Union vice president Tom Bradshaw last week warned that food security must be a priority on the government’s agenda.

He warned that poor soil conditions this year could also hurt next year’s harvest.

Mr Bradshaw said: “The recent soaring temperature has taken a toll on any growth of the crops left just before harvest. Many farmers are facing a double whammy with sudden weather cuts causing flash floods. ”

Meanwhile, Millers remain concerned that a no-deal Brexit could impose an additional £ 79 per tonne tariff on wheat if the UK collapses under World Trade Organization rules. Millers who import wheat could face additional costs that would eventually show up in supermarket prices.

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