LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s wheat crop may fall to a five-year low of 13.5 million tonnes if early yields are representative of the whole crop, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said on Friday.
Searing heat and a prolonged spell of dry weather are set to curb wheat production this year across northern Europe.
Last year’s UK wheat crop was 14.8 million tonnes, according to Britain’s farm ministry.
A report published by AHDB on Friday estimated early wheat yields at 7.6 to 7.8 tonnes per hectare, well below the five-year average of 8.2 tonnes.
“These early yield estimates are based on early harvested varieties in the south and east of England and are therefore only an indication of where the final yields will end up, so should be treated with some caution,” the report said.
Britain’s wheat harvest was about 25 percent complete as of Tuesday, well ahead of normal, the report prepared by crop consultants ADAS said.
In four of the last five years the wheat harvest had yet to start at the end of July.
Reporting by Nigel Hunt; Editing by Jan Harvey