First UK, now France wheat harvests under threat: comment

Reports suggest that France may have its worst wheat harvest in a decade due to heavy rains.

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By George Smeeton

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Commenting on reports [1] that France may have its worst wheat harvest in a decade due to heavy rains, Tom Lancaster, Land, Food and Farming Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said: “After the UK’s record-breaking wet winter hit crops here, farmers in France are now contending with the impacts of ‘ceaseless’ rains this spring. France is Europe’s biggest grower of wheat [2], and with harvests in the UK anticipated to be down by up to a fifth [3] due to heavy rains here that were made worse by climate change [4], there is a real risk that a poor harvest in France could drive up prices.

“Warmer, wetter winters are a feature of climate change projections, and years like this that have seen farmers locked out of their fields by floods and waterlogged soils will only become more frequent until we reach net zero emissions and so stopping adding to the problem. More green farming support now to help farmers invest in their soils, plant hedgerows and create new wetlands will also aid their resilience to both floods and drought, helping them to keep producing food in the face of worsening climate impacts, bolstering the UK’s food security. Farmers are clear climate change is the number one threat to the UK’s food self-sufficiency.”


Notes to editors:

1. France may see worst wheat damage in years due to non-stop rain:



4. Autumn and winter storm rainfall in the UK and Ireland was made about 20% heavier by human-caused climate change: https://www.worldweatherattrib...

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George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: +44 (0)7894 571 153, email: