Unprecedented wet weather in the UK has reduced this year’s production of wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape by an estimated 4m tonnes.

According to a report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), this 17.5% fall in production is down a massive 5m tonnes or 21.2% compared to the 2015-2023 average.

Commenting on the analysis, ECIU land analyst Tom Lancaster said: “This washout winter is playing havoc with farmers’ fields leading to soils so waterlogged they cannot be planted or too wet for tractors to apply fertilisers.

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“This is likely to mean not only a financial hit for farmers, but higher imports as we look to plug the gap left by a shortfall in UK supply.

“There’s also a real risk that the price of bread, beer and biscuits could increase as the poor harvest may lead to higher costs.”

Mr Lancaster added that farmers need more support to withstand the wetter winters that will come from climate change.

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“The governments green farming schemes are vital to this, helping farmers to invest in their soils to allow them to recover faster from both floods and droughts.”

ECIU said the wet winter has affect wheat production most which is expected to be down 26.5% compared to 2023.

With the wet weather hampering spring crops like barley, the historically high malting barley premium may hold, leading to higher costs for brewers and distillers raising the prospect of the wet winter increasing the price of a pint, too.

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“Farmers are saying this is the worst winter they’ve ever experienced. Coming just as food prices were coming down after the gas price crisis, the public will now rightly fear what this means for the cost of their weekly shop.

“Given half our food comes from abroad, the UK will have to ensure farmers are supported, but also in countries that grow the fruit and other staples we can’t, that are also being battered by weather extremes.

“With climate impacts only increasing as the world warms, we need to view this winter as a harbinger of things to come. Moving faster to net zero emissions is the only guaranteed way to limit these impacts and maintain our food security."