July 2018 Crop Update

July 2018 Crop Update

July 2018 Crop Update

The Mediterranean feel weather we’ve been experiencing in the UK has certainly been enjoyed by all, however for our farmers this brings a different set of challenges; usually growers are challenged with ensuring the land is drained enough to cope with our typical summer rains.

Little to no rainfall over a 6-week period combined with daily average temperatures of 24°c can cause the ground temperature to reach 40-50°c.

At temperatures over 24°c many crops stop growing and go into self-preservation mode which is where the leaf cells close to stop dehydration which also stops photosynthesis.

What this means for Crop supply:

Potatoes

  • There are no immediate supply problems as there is sufficient old crop available although this is nearing the end and the quality in the supply will dip.
  • Current crop is growing very slowly due to the heat. Only small salad type potatoes are coming through in any volume, removing field heat from lifted crop is also a challenge.
  • Longer term we need more rain in August to bulk up the crop or there will be a lack of jacket potatoes this year.

Onions

  • The lack of water is affecting the size of onion in the early crop, hopefully rainfall will come in time to bulk up the main crop in August

Carrots

  • Early crop is seeing much smaller sizes creating a problem for larger processing carrots for producing of carrot batons etc. The hope is that rain will alleviate issues if we get regular rainfall early August to bulk up the main crop.

Brassicas

  • Cauliflower and Broccoli are suffering from the immediate heat. Cauliflower is cracking, and some pinking is being seen which is a sign of stress.
  • Broccoli dehydrates and can go yellow.
  • White and Red cabbage is not growing and is very difficult to irrigate whilst retaining the density needed to store it, head sizes will unfortunately be affected this year.
  • Spring Greens are unfortunately off the menu for a few weeks due to heat damage.

Salad

  • The weather is causing several challenges, demand goes through the roof and the plants stop growing creating supply problems, the heat can cause wilting and reduced shelf life especially in baby leaf salad, the heat also creates gaps in planting as it is very difficult planting in such high temperatures.
  • Some bagged salad recipes may need to be adjusted to ensure quality.

Courgettes & Strawberries

  • To end on a positive note both plants are thriving in the warmer weather although the season could end earlier than usual as the plants are in maximum production and can become exhausted.

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