(Bloomberg) -- French corn farmers are being told to leave crops unharvested in the latest sign of how soaring energy prices are heightening the risk of global food inflation.

The grain typically needs to be dried down after it’s collected to ensure the proper moisture content, a task that’s becoming increasingly costly as natural gas prices skyrocket. Harvests in the country, one of Europe’s largest growers, are in full swing, with a third already collected.

Now, farmers are being told to prepare for gas shortages, to use less of the fuel and even postpone their grain collection if possible, corn growers group AGPM said Wednesday in a statement. But harvesting too late can deteriorate the quality of the crop and reduce farmer incomes, which are already being hit by the “explosion” in drying costs, the group said. 

Runaway energy prices have already driven up fertilizer costs, a risk for future grain harvests, while vegetable greenhouses in the neighboring Netherlands have cut back on lighting to cut expenses. 

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