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Delayed planting could lead to veg supply gap

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Fruit and vegetable suppliers have warned that the wet autumn and winter weather, which have made it hard for growers to clear fields of crops and begin spring cultivations, could lead to a supply gap in key vegetables such as brassicas.

With production areas as far apart as Cornwall and Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Scotland affected by the weather, many growers are still struggling to recover winter crops such as potatoes, or harvest cauliflower and cabbage, while many fields which have been cleared are still not suitable for travelling on, so cultivations and the sowing or planting of new crops is being delayed.

Shane Talling of supplier Veg-UK Ltd said that in Kent, “Lifting the crops is slow going at the moment, tractors are getting stuck and in some case the crops are getting damaged in the process.

“Processing is also taking longer, the main crop at the moment are Savoy cabbage, cauliflower and potatoes, we have people waiting about not able to cut the crops all of this adds to the cost, we want our customers to understand why there are increases in prices.”

He also warned that due to their own weather issues, Spanish growers may not be in a position to fill in any gaps in supply in the spring and summer.

Photo Caption: Growers as far afield as Cornwall and Scotland have had trouble harvesting crops

Photo source: Southern England Farms

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