The Grain Chain

Drought declaration in East of England may reduce crop yields

A drought will be declared later today (Friday 9 June) in parts of the East Midlands and East Anglia.  The Government says that certain parts of the surrounding areas are experiencing their driest spring conditions since 1990.

The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, will hold a ‘drought summit’ today involving farmers, water companies, the Met Office, and business and environmental groups to review the impacts of the weather and discuss strategies.

Farmers in the Fens have offered to irrigate crops at night which would reduce evaporation thereby using less water.

The National Farmers’ Union says the drought could reduce yields of wheat and barley in affected areas by up to 20 per cent; but added that this was unlikey to change food prices as these are determined globally.

grainchain.com has a number of complementary resources to this story.  They are all free of charge, easy to download and mostly available in an editable format.  Why not explore with your students how their food is grown; how farmers manage productivity today with sustainability tomorrow; the contribution farming makes to the economy; and the UK wheat market.  Housed within two sections on sustainable development, these resources are written for 11-14 and 14-16 age ranges. 

Also, for the 14-16 age group we have developed a podcast where teenager Katie explores food prices and food shortages.

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