Conditions raise hopes for blackcurrant crop

The weather has come good at the right time for British blackcurrant growers, following the latest start to the harvest since 1978.

Blackcurrant Foundation chairman Jo Hilditch said: "Last year, the harvesting period was very difficult for growers due to the extreme and unusual wet weather, which meant that fields were a mess.

"This year, bushes are already looking healthier than ever before and we are cautiously anticipating an excellent crop due to the drier, sunnier conditions."

A silver lining to last season's wet weather has been that the high soil moisture has enabled bushes to double their extension growth during the growing season, so boosting this season's yields, while the prolonged cold winter has also benefited flowering and crop health, according to growers.

This year, growers are forecasting a harvest of 12,000 tonnes of fruit - close to expected British yields - while the recent warm, sunny weather has boosted Brix levels in fruit.

The Blackcurrant Foundation has meanwhile introduced an interactive "Superfruit Wheel" on its website, demonstrating to consumers the health benefits of blackcurrants compared to other fruits.


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