Dull November causes headaches for growers

November was the dullest month in more than a century for much of the country but it was also among the warmest on record, according to the Met Office.

Image: Morguefile
Image: Morguefile

The west and south of the UK were particularly cloudy, with much of West Sussex, a centre of horticultural production due to its high light levels, receiving less than half the average number of sunny hours for the month.

However, southern England also benefited most from the unusual warmth, with most areas experiencing a mean temperature for the month of 2.5 degsC or more above average.

Rainfall was unusually high in central and southern Scotland as well as north-west England, where many areas saw more than double the average rainfall levels, making it Scotland's second wettest November on record, despite the North East recording below-average rainfall.

Meanwhile, a new survey of NFU members has found that two-thirds of farmers have noticed an increase in extreme weather over the past decade. A majority reported changes in rainfall patterns and more flooding, with a quarter also observing an increase in storms, gales or high winds. Perhaps surprisingly though, only one-in-ten said winters have generally become milder.

NFU vice-president Guy Smith said: "This shows the financial and emotional cost that changing weather patterns are having on our members, and comes as a stark reminder that agriculture is on the front line of climate change impacts."

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