Europe, UK, Ireland, Weather/Climate

UK: East Anglia drought risk forces farmers to switch crops

East Anglian farmers are cutting back on “high-risk” irrigated crops like potatoes, onions and carrots this year in response to the growing threat of a second summer drought, as Chris Hill reports in a news story for Eastern Daily Press.

The region is one of only two in the country still officially in drought – six months after last summer’s heatwave left farmers struggling to grow crops in parched fields.

North Norfolk grower Tony Bambridge, who chairs the National Farmers’ Union’s regional board for East Anglia, is reducing his potato area by about 10pc, and replacing it with less risky sugar beet, for which prices have risen in recent years.

Andrew Blenkiron is director of the Euston Estate near Thetford, where the area planted with irrigated potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips has been reduced by 20pc – also replaced with sugar beet. With other growers making similar decisions, Mr Blenkiron said potato shortages are possible.

Source: Eastern Daily Press. Read the full story here
Photo: Norfolk potato grower Tony Bambridge, who chairs the National Farmers’ Union’s regional board for East Anglia. Credit NFU via Eastern Daily Press

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