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‘Perfect storm' prompts British carrot shortage

13 July 2018 by

A ‘perfect storm' of weather conditions means that the supply of British carrots could be disrupted for up to 11 months.

Yields in British carrots are expected to be their lowest for decades, pushing up carrot prices and leading to high levels of imports, according to the British Carrot Growers Association.

The UK is generally 97% self-sufficient in carrot production and able to produce the vegetable fresh all year round.

However, the ‘Beast from the East' produced excess rain throughout the spring, which delayed planting by a month and reduced the growing season by 18%, Farmers Guardian reported. That has been followed by a the hottest summer since 1976, creating poor conditions for carrot production.

Rodger Hobson, British Carrot Growers Association chairman, said: "Carrots grow best at temperatures around 15-18°C, but this summer we've had daily averages of 25-32°C and the carrots have just stopped growing and are wilting in the fields. This weather has hit all the major growing areas of Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Fife."

He added that it was "inevitable" that prices would rise.

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