For the first time in a decade, Britain will be forced to import wheat after much of the crop has been damaged or destroyed by cold weather. Typically Britain is a net exporter of wheat. The ruined harvests are expected to cost British farmers £500million.
According to reports, freezing temperatures also damaged many of the seeds that have been sown in recent weeks, meaning the next harvest will also be impacted.
The country anticipates the need to import about 1.5 million tons more wheat than it exports in this “crop year,” which runs from July 2012 to June 2013.
Last year, Britain exported 1.6 million tons of wheat, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.
In addition to the cold weather impacting wheat, it also has affected the country’s potato crop. Potato imports are expected to increase in the next crop year also. Plantings were reported at just 4,000 hectares at the end of March, which is just more than 10 percent of the 30,000 hectares planted at this time last year.