Irrigation and labour challenges pose harvest threats

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17 August 2022
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UK sector under pressure, says NFU

THERE are fears for the potato crop in the UK this year, with half of England’s crops expected to fail because they cannot be irrigated and this is being compounded by harvesting difficulties arising from labour shortages, , it has been claimed.

 

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw said: “The prolonged dry weather and record temperatures have created a really challenging growing environment for our fruit and veg. Every crop is valuable – to the farm business and to the people whose plates they fill. We simply can’t afford to be leaving food unpicked.”

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About 22 million pounds of fruit and vegetables were wasted in the first half of the year owing to labour shortages, according to a National Farmers Union survey of almost 200 growers. Because the poll represents a third of the horticulture sector, the overall figure likely topped 60 million pounds, at a time when grocery-store prices are rising at a near-record pace.