Farmers race to gather in harvest

SUFFOLK farmers raced against the clock as the cereal harvest draws to a close across the region.Despite poor weather conditions and increased planted area due to high prices last autumn, farmers fought through the night to gather the crop in time.

SUFFOLK farmers raced against the clock as the cereal harvest draws to a close across the region.

Despite poor weather conditions and increased planted area due to high prices last autumn, farmers fought through the night to gather the crop in time.

A wet August delayed the harvest and raised concerns over quality and protein levels but good progress was made over the last week.

Because of the miserable summer we experienced in the county, many crops had to be dried meaning supplies of wheat to the market were slow.

It has been a worse story in other parts of the country where up to 60cms of rain in the last two months has meant a lot of wheat had to be scrapped.

In East Anglia, around 20-35mm of rain on Sunday brought a good week to a halt in western parts of the region.

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Brian Finnerty, of the National Farmers' Union, said: “It has been a difficult year but the quality of the harvest has been generally good.

“Usually bad weather will affect the quality of the crop but that hasn't happened this year.”

There are hopes that a good grain harvest this year will see an ease in the cost of basic foodstuffs - food inflation has been running at about 10 per cent over the last year.