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UK - Drought-hit crops desperate for rain

May 2020 has been the sunniest and driest calendar month on record, leaving growers across the UK in desperate need for rain to save their crops from the exceptionally dry conditions.

With an average of 266 hours of sunlight and less than 10mm of rain last month, crop yields could be hit by up to half this harvest, which would see farmers taking a huge economic hit.

Fortunately, some growers have been lucky enough to catch a few showers of rain this week, but for many, this has been an insignificant amount to repair the yield damage caused by the drought.

Growers, agronomists and researchers have been raising their concerns on Twitter over drought-affected fields and how they are in need of more rain to boost yields this harvest.

Farm manager Adrian Baker, who works for FB Parrish and Son in Bedfordshire, is devastated that his crop of Mulika wheat has been struck by the dry weather, after it was looking so well a month ago.

Jake Freestone, arable and sheep farmer in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, shares this devastating picture of his Crusoe wheat, which has lost at least half of its green leaf area through drought stress.

Essex farmer, Guy Smith also raises his concerns over his winter wheat crop, which he believes has lost 5t/ha in yield.

Let’s be clear with the prospect of no pubs and no yields this harvest then ‘Pub-Yields’ will be under serious threat. So I hereby by launch ‘the crop that lost the most potential yield in May’. Here’s my opener at 5 lost tonne to the hectare.

Not only wheat crops are suffering – Guy Smith’s pea crop has also been starved of water, receiving just 24mm of rain since March and are in desperate need of more.

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