A month of rain fell on brassica crops in Lincolnshire in a single day last week; growers across the key production areas are assessing the damage and the impact on consumers.
A spokesman for the Brassica Growers Association said “in a normal year we would expect around 50 mm of rain for entire month of June. Last week, crops waiting to be harvested were deluged with up to 80 mm of rain in a single day. Some farms recorded the equivalent of 3 months in a week. This has turned fields into quagmires, creating nightmare conditions for the harvest teams. Staff struggled through mud, up to a foot deep, to harvest crops and fulfil orders”.
“Growers are used to dealing with the weather, but the conditions last week were well outside what we are used to” explained the Association spokesman.
More rain is forecast this week and while the immediate risk of flooding has reduced, the fields will remain totally waterlogged long after the rain has stopped and harvesting crops will continue to be a real challenge.
Harvesting is not the only activity to be affected; we are now at a critical stage for planting crops for harvest in winter and spring 2020 and the impact of the recent rains could have knock on effect on future availability.
The spokesman said that growers are working closely with customers to keep them informed about the situation and what they can expect by way of supplies. Lincolnshire produces about 30% of all field scale veg grown in the UK and was hardest hit by the ‘freak’ weather conditions.
2019 is in marked contrast to 2018 when all the talk was of drought and lack of rain. “There is no doubt” said the spokesman “that we are seeing much more volatile weather patterns in recent years, which all adds to the demands of growing high quality produce.”
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