Carrot growers trial new varieties to meet latest challenges

Carrot growers are having to hone their craft to meet a barrage of challenges including climate change, new legislation and changing customer demand.

Chairman Martin Evans of the British Carrot Growers' Association said growers and their crop varieties must remain responsive in ever-more testing times.

Ongoing threats included climate change and dwindling pesticide options for crops, he warned. Meanwhile, diets had changed and products were being sold in different ways.

"I'm now supplying Marks & Spencer with ready-to-cook carrots in thyme and honey, which would have been unheard of a few years ago," he said.

Evans was speaking about carrot trials following the seventh annual British Carrot Growers' Association demonstration, held near Doncaster in May this year.

Testing had to focus on changing situations to ensure that new varieties "fit these shifts in the market" but still manage to surpass current market leaders.

At the trials, Elsoms Seeds seed sales specialist Chris Bettinson said: "We are looking to build a good portfolio to spread across the early, second and late-crop production cycle."

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