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Climate Adaptation

U.K.’s Wettest-Ever February Is Turning Farm Fields Into Lakes

  • Recent floods are threatening farmers’ spring-planting plans
  • European growers have faced extreme weather since the fall
Flood waters cover farmland in Cressage. U.K., on Feb. 29.

Flood waters cover farmland in Cressage. U.K., on Feb. 29.

Photographer: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg
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British farmer Richard Bramley should be about to plant barley and sugar beet on his land near York. Instead, he’s watching the waves roll over his flooded fields.

Bramley, like other growers across the U.K., had been hoping to catch a break after heavy rains spoiled grain plantings late last year. But the wettest-ever February has submerged fields, making it impossible to run tractors and raising the risk that some farmland will lay empty this season.