Crops are wilting in parched fields, lowering the yields of kitchen staples including meat, wheat, potatoes, onions and milk
Fiona HarveyLast modified on Tue 31 Jul 2018 00.10 BST
Staple foods from bread to potatoes, onions, milk and meat may be in shorter supply than usual this year and prices to consumers may have to rise, farmers have said, as they count the cost of the two-month drought and heatwave across the UK.
There will be little respite from the hot weather in many areas of the country, even as thunderstorms and heavy rains spread from the east, as farmers have seen their crops wilt, their fields parched and livestock struggle in the extreme conditions.
Although it is too early to say precisely what price rises may come, the National Farmers’ Union said farmgate prices were likely to increase. Retailers will have to decide whether to pass such rises on to consumers.
Anand Dossa, economist at the NFU, said early indications were that harvesting for staples such as grains was taking place early, but it was too early to say exactly what the yields would be. “These are challenging conditions, and we would expect to see an effect,” he said. He added that sheep meat production was down 16% this year.