Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Trends, Weather/Climate

Northern Ireland farmers hoping for rain as heatwave threatens to destroy crops

From left: Wilson’s Country chairman Angus Wilson, Comber potato grower Hugh Chambers and Wilson’s agronomist Stuart MeredithFarmers in Northern Ireland say they are praying for rain to avoid a disastrous harvest. The extended heatwave – which could last for another fortnight – is continuing to cause problems. Yesterday Armagh Observatory said it had recorded the warmest June since 1846. And June 27 saw the hottest temperatures ever noted by the observatory since it started taking daily measurements in 1795. Demand on water is running at 20% above normal, reservoir levels are falling, and now potato and other vegetable producers say they are facing problems because of the drought. The first hosepipe ban since 1995 has been in place since Friday. Many farmers rely on rain to water their land and do not have irrigation systems in place to cope with prolonged periods of dry weather. The heatwave, which follows an extremely wet April, has played havoc with the production of spuds. Read more

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