Food prices are likely to rise after farmers in England and Wales reported poor harvests due to the rainy summer.

Wheat yields fell 14.1% this year on a five-year average to levels last seen in the late 1980s, according to a survey by the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

The figures have been released after the wettest summer in England and Wales for 100 years, with 14.25in (362mm) of rain falling in June, July and August.

food prices rise

Food prices are likely to rise after farmers in England and Wales reported poor harvests


The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has already warned of price "pressures" following the worst drought in 50 years in the US and a heatwave in Russia.

The news comes after a dire warning about the British economy from the IMF, which downgraded its previous forecasts to predict negative growth in the recession-hit UK.

Guy Gagen, NFU chief combinable crops adviser, said wheat yields were down after abnormally high rainfall across the UK since the early summer.


wet britain

This summer was the wettest in a century


"The poor UK harvest compounds a series of challenging weather events for farmers around the world, most notably drought in North America," he said.

"The resulting tight supplies of many feed grains have driven up the prices of agricultural commodities around the world.

"These UK harvest results will do little to alleviate the global dynamics of commodity prices, with the prospect of relatively high commodity levels through to 2013.

"Cereals prices impact directly on other sectors, especially pig and poultry farmers who are already struggling with higher feed costs."

food prices

The prospect of food prices rising will do little to calm worries of squeezed Britons worrying about their finances during a double-dip recession


Richard Dodd, of the BRC, said: "There certainly are price pressures in the system which are coming from poor wheat harvests in this country but also in the other big wheat producing countries.

"The most recent figures are that wheat prices are up something like 29% compared with a year ago.

"Our own figures for the shop price inflation for food show that it has been very, very stable - it has been 3.1% for the last three months which is actually a two-year low. There is no food price explosion going on but there are pressures in the system that will work through.

"Our fiercely competitive retail market is protecting customers from the worst effects of these price pressures."

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  • Residents and business owners clean up after flash foods on July 10, 2012 in Hebden Bridge, England. Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley are clearing up agin after being hit by floods for the third time in three weeks. Heavy rain overnight left many roads inthe valley flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in less than an hour.

  • Wettest summer for 100 years

    File photo dated 30/07/2012 of people sheltering from the rain at a bus stop at Heather, Leicestershire, as this summer has been the wettest in England and Wales for 100 years, according to new figures.

  • Wettest summer for 100 years

    File photo dated 28/06/2012 of torchbearer 047 Glenn Chambers carrying the Olympic Flame on the Torch Relay leg between Edwinstowe and Mansfield in severe rain, as this summer has been the wettest in England and Wales for 100 years, according to new figures.

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    Bourton Rovers 1st XI, playing in light blue, clash with Bourton Rovers 2nd XI during the annual August Bank Holiday Monday River Football match at Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire. Picture date: Monday August 27, 2012. The match, watched by hundreds of spectators braving the rain, ended 2-2. See PA story SPORT River. Photo credit should read: Rod Minchin/PA Wire

  • Spectators stand in the rain during the first practice session at the Silverstone circuit on July 6, 2012 ahead of the British Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Festival goers brave the rain and the mud during T In The Park Festival at Balado on July 7, 2012 in Kinross, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Gilmore/Redferns via Getty Images)

  • People look at the level of the River Ouse as it rises above its normal level in York, northern England, on July 7, 2012, as flood warnings were issued across the country following prolongued periods of rain. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • People take photographs of an inflatable doll as the level of the River Ouse rises above its normal level in York, northern England, on July 7, 2012, as flood warnings were issued across the country following prolongued periods of rain. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Residents and business owners clean up after flash foods on July 10, 2012 in Hebden Bridge, England. Hebden Bridge and the Calder Valley are clearing up agin after being hit by floods for the third time in three weeks. Heavy rain overnight left many roads inthe valley flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in less than an hour.

  • Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 3, 2012 in London, England.

  • on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on July 29, 2012 in London, England.

  • Competitors take part in the Women's Marathon on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games near Parliament on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Members of the emergency services move a boat after flash flooding on Butterstile Close in Manchester, England, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. Heavy rain has led to flooding and disruption in some parts of the UK. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

  • The fast flowing River Ure at Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • The ford near Charvil, Berkshire, which flooded to a depth of 6ft after heavy rain hit parts of the UK.

  • Children play in a dingy along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Floodwaters surround the cinema and local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

  • A man makes his way on a bike along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • Locals make their way in a boat along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis in West Sussex, after the South East and mid Wales were worst hit by the rain which has battered Britain.

  • The garden of the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK.

  • Landlady Samantha Snape (left) and Moilly Parker who works at the pub outside the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK

  • Landlady Samantha Snape helps a local on the road to the Lower Lode Inn near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, after flooding across the UK.

  • A car drives through a puddle near Epsom, Surrey, as wet weather continues across the UK.