Wheat farmers in South Iceland are expecting a particularly good harvest this year. Some farmers hope to start harvesting at the beginning of next month, but most will wait until the middle of September.
Olafur Eggertsson from Thorvaldseyri, who is head of the Icelandic Wheat Growers’ Association, told RUV that this years crops are looking excellent. The warm and weather Iceland has been enjoying this summer has helped the wheat, and the lack of rain does not seem to have damaged the crops.
Eggertsson believes volcanic ash from this spring’s Eyjafjallajokull eruption probably has a big part to play in the good harvest. Although it caused havoc at the time, he explains that it adds nutrients to the soil and its colour causes the ground to better retain the sun’s heat.
Wheat farming is not especially common in Iceland; but some 450 farmers do grow the useful crop on a total of more than 4,000 hectares of farmland. Through most of Iceland’s history all wheat had to be imported; but this has changed and domestic flour sells at a premium.