Wet September hits UK harvests

Wet weather in the first half of September has played havoc during the busy harvest season for many major UK crops.

Growers across the industry say high levels of rain have slowed or even halted harvests across the UK for many growers.

Carrot grower Guy Poskitt of M H Poskitt in Goole, East Riding, said the company had been struggling with harvests and that growers had been cropping where ever they could to meet orders.

Rainfall in the second week of the month severely affected potato crops, very little lifting has occurred across much of the country. Field conditions in Yorkshire and the northeast were described as "diabolical" by Potato Council members in the region.

While demand has jumped for cauliflower and broccoli, Brassica Growers Association chairman Philip Effingham reports that supply is tight. Autumn crops are looking good but growers are keeping watch for signs of wet rot.

Vice chairman Alistair Ewan said yield looked to be down due to lack of sunshine in August.

Herb crops have also slowed in growth due to a lack of sunshine. JK Fresh Produce has reported that coriander crops have been slow to grow and wet weather had prevented any harvesting.

Fortunately for pea growers harvests had been brought in before September rains set in, turning around fortunes of 2007 when many pea crops sat in water following flash flooding at major growing sites in the east of the country.

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