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Medway farmers hit by extreme weather

Farmers in Medway have faced a difficult year following months of extreme weather.

Farms across the Towns have had their produce and profits hit after suffering another year of droughts in spring and heavy downpours in summer and winter.

The National Farmers Union said the record rainfall in 2012 has cost British farmers £1.3billion, including £600million in lost output, especially from poor wheat.

Farmer Peter Osenton, of Frank Osenton Farming in High Halstow, said they have only been able to plant a quarter of their wheat seeds this winter meaning shoppers will face a price hike.

He said: “This has been the worst year and all farms are affected. Everywhere in the country is the same and some places in the west haven’t been able to put any wheat in at all.

“It’s not just the rain in December that has been a problem – it’s going back as far as September. If the weather improves in spring we will be able to get crops in then, but there will still be a big shortage of wheat this year. Prices in the shops will be going up.”

Andrew Lingham (pictured above), of Peter Lingham and Partners Farm, Upper Halling, said the farming business was becoming more of a risk each year. “We have to be careful on what we spend on crops now otherwise we’re just pouring money down the drain.

“The weather is getting more extreme and over the past three to four years we have had two droughts and it is just not predictable anymore.”

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