Britain faces shortage of PUMPKINS this Halloween as summer of heatwaves and droughts causes supplies to diminish
- Pumpkins might be in short supply this Halloween as supplies of the crop fall
- Farmers have said that heatwaves and droughts have resulted in a lower yield
- The price of the autumnal squash is also set to rocket because of energy costs
Pumpkin carving might be off the table for Brits this Halloween after a summer of heatwaves and droughts diminished crop supplies.
Even those lucky enough to get their hands on the orange vegetable may get a shock as farmer’s warn that the price of the autumnal squash is also set to rise in line with inflation and soaring energy costs.
It comes as British farms warned that fruit and vegetables could look different this year, and even become ‘wonky’, after receiving a lack of rainfall.
This led to Lidl and Waitrose announcing they would start selling ‘stunted’ produce which has been severely affected by a record-breaking summer of heat and national drought.
Guy and Emily French, who own one of the UK’s leading pumpkin wholesale growers – Foxes Farm Produce in Basildon, Essex – said its harvest of pumpkins was down by a third this year and had already sold out to pumpkin patch organisers who will use their land.
It may be harder to get your hands on a pumpkin this Halloween after a summer of heatwaves and droughts has caused yields of the crop to diminish
Mr French told the Mirror: ‘The quality of the pumpkin is good – the skin finish is good, they’re a really good orange.
‘But the drought had a knock-on impact on the yield. You haven’t got the volume.’
The farmer added that high energy costs, spurred on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was also affecting this year’s harvest.
Foxes Farm has been harvesting pumpkins since the middle of August and said this year’s yield was down by a quarter to a third.
Mr French added: ‘We are selling at a higher price but the main factor for that is our input costs.
Pumpkin farms have said that energy costs to run farm machinery, such as tractors, and the increased price of fertiliser, due to the war in Ukraine, will push up the price of the orange veg
‘We always say to our customers, “If you think the price of filling up your car with diesel has doubled, think of what it does for a tractor.”
‘And then our fertiliser costs are also up because of the war in Ukraine.’
William Tyrell, who owns Tyrell’s Farm in Lincolnshire, said the heatwave had caused his crops to ripen too early and while they can be stored until October, he told the Mirror harvesting the pumpkins ruins the experience for the public coming to pick their own’.
Earlier this month, fears were raised that the soaring temperatures across the UK could threaten Christmas dinners due to shortages of brussel sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli.
Farmers also said a shortage of strawberries could also occur as a result of a combination of a severe lack of rainfall and rising costs of production.
The production of potatoes, onions, carrots, and lettuce are also understood to be suffering amid warnings that hosepipe bans could be in place until October because there is no ‘meaningful rainfall’ forecast to arrive anytime soon.
The warning comes after Britain saw its driest eight months from November to June since 1976, as well as the most arid July on record for parts of southern and eastern England.
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