Research from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) revealed today (Wednesday, May 22) that arable farmers face losing “nearly £1 billion” in revenue as a result of the wet winter.

The research from the ECIU found that the revenue from key arable crops is set to reduce by 19%. Arable farmers could lose £890 million on the crops, such as, wheat, barley, oats and oilseed rape.

Compared to the average production achieved between 2015-2023, the losses of these crops increased to £1.2 billion.

The ECIU estimated that farmers stand to lose £751 million on wheat harvest, £183 million on winter barley and £173 million on oilseed rape.

Land analyst at ECIU Tom Lancaster said:

“The science is now clear that this winter’s wet weather was made worse by climate change. With crops hit by the winter washout, the UK’s food security has been shaken and farmers are left counting the cost.

“More regenerative farming is a key part of this, restoring soils to withstand droughts and floods, planting new hedgerows and creating new wetlands to slow and store floodwaters.”

He added that the government’s new green farming schemes can also provide “vital income” to offset these climate losses, providing a climate lifeline for those hardest hit.

When applied to some hypothetical example farms, these losses translate to tens of thousands of pounds in lost revenue for farms typical of their region.

Applied to a 500ha farm in the east of England with average cropping, the analysis suggests losses around £80,000 this year.

Using Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) figures, the ECIU estimated that three out of four of these example farms could generate scheme payments in excess of these projected losses.

Chief executive of the Nature Friendly Farming Network Martin Lines said:

“The extremely wet winter we have had has impacted our ability to plant and look after our crops. Taking advantage of SFI options means we can get support for measures like planting cover crops that mitigate soil loss.

“This gives us the ability to get onto fields earlier, turning them into environmental improvement areas, herbal leys, or legume fallows to improve soil condition and make our fields more resilient for the future.”

Many farmers believe that green farming schemes can also make their cropping more productive and efficient, according to the ECIU.