The Spring 2020 carrot crop is at risk after recent heavy flooding prevented farmers from laying straw to protect against frost damage.
Commercial carrot growing regions across the North of England and the Midlands, including Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Shropshire and Lancashire, have all been affected by increased rainfall which has caused flooding. The areas account for more than 50% of the carrot growing area in the UK.
Whilst carrot harvesting continues the weather has prevented growers from using the machinery and equipment necessary to lay down straw, which would protect the crop from winter frost.
Coral Russell, of the British Carrot Growers Association, said: “The flooding has caught a lot of growers out. It has stopped them spreading straw as they usually do at this time of year. They are sitting on a wing and a prayer and hoping that we get a dry weather spell to be able to put down straw to protect the crop.”
Mark Strawson, and one of the UK’s biggest carrot growers, added: “there is a very high risk of crop loss should the weather now turn cold. Such a situation would severely disrupt supplies to retail customers.”
According to The British Carrot Growers Association 93% of carrots eaten in the UK are grown in the UK.