Bad weather over the summer has failed to dampen the spirits of the UK’s farmers, who have managed to bring in a large harvest this year in spite of the rain.
Figures from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) show an increase in wheat production of almost a third (32.6%) on last year’s poor harvest.
The NFU estimates that production of spring barley was up by 27%, while winter barley was up by around 10.5%.
This year saw better yields per hectare than cereal crops than in 2007, which suffered from a dry spring and the summer floods.
Excellent planting conditions last autumn and "exceptional" growing conditions saw a much better season for farmers this year, helping them weather the rains that set in during the harvest.
The increase in wheat production to more than 17.5 million tonnes was partly due to improved yields per hectare – up 17.1% on last year – and partly because around 13% more land was planted with wheat in the UK.
The NFU said farmers responded to the demand for food by planting more than 2 million hectares with wheat.
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