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UK: Extreme rainfall hampers Norfolk potato harvest and cereal drilling

An exceptionally wet start to the autumn has bogged down farming operations across Norfolk – and prompted concerns over potato crops in sodden fields, according to a report by Chris Hill, published in Eastern Daily Press.

The storms and heavy rain at the end of September left arable farmers dealing with issues including fallen trees, flooding and soil erosion, as more than 90mm of rainfall recorded in just 48 hours last weekend at monitoring stations in North Walsham, Fakenham and Dereham.

Now, with more heavy rain forecast for the coming weekend, farmers are desperate for a change in the weather which has put the brakes on this year’s potato harvest and hampered efforts to plant next year’s winter wheat and barley.

Nick Hood, of Heath Farm in Woodbastwick, recorded 129mm of rain in September, saying “From a farming perspective it is a critical time of year for lifting potatoes and establishing winter wheat and winter barley. We have not drilled anything for a week and lifted very few potatoes and it has put a lot of water into the ground…

Source: Eastern Daily Press. Read the full report here
Picture: Potato harvesting between the downpours at Heath Farm in Woodbastwick. | Nick Hood

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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