In Cambridgeshire’s fertile Fenlands, Luke Abblitt was unable to get all of his potatoes out of the ground this winter because of the record rainfall that has lashed the UK over the past year.

“The knock-on effect financially is harrowing,” said the tenant farmer, who sells about 13.5 tonnes of the staple to fish and chip shops every week alongside other crops.

Abblitt has also struggled to plant all his spring crops. “We either can’t combine because it’s too hot . . . or it’s too wet and you can’t do anything,” he said.

According to the Met Office, England has just experienced its wettest 18 months since 1836. This week the National Farmers’ Union called on the government to boost support for growers affected by heavy rain earlier this year, which has left swaths of agricultural land flooded.

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