Heatwaves will make crops produce smaller grains | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Heatwaves will make crops produce smaller grains | Environment | guardian.co.uk.

 

The wheat is usually green at this time, but its already gone brown,” says Laurence Matthews, overlooking a bone-dry and dusty field on his 3,000-acre farm near Dorking in Surrey. “It’s like a tinderbox: there’s a real risk of fire.”

The summer heatwave is having a dramatic effect on his crops. “Without water, the plants just shut down,” he says. But it is the twists and turns of increasingly erratic weather that is making farming more difficult, Matthews says. “In spring 2012, it was unbelievably dry and hot, then from April it just rained right through to 2013, which made it very difficult to get our crops established.”

The autumn-sown crops that survived the deluge developed only short roots,

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