Small carrots on menu as all field crops suffering
Consumers could be left with unusually small carrots later this year as drought conditions affect growth.
The current lack of rain is having a severe effect on the field vegetable sector.
There are fears other crops, such as potatoes, broccoli and onions, could also be affected, because the planting season was delayed by a wet spring, which then turned into a sweltering, dry summer.
Stephen Alexander, a Teagasc vegetable advisor, said there had been virtually no rain some of the primary production areas, since the beginning of June.
“The current soil moisture deficit (SMD) ranges from 70mm in the west of the country to 95mm in the east which in effect means it will take weeks of rainfall to restore soil to normal moisture levels.
“And to make matters worse the dry weather comes in on top of one of the worst springs on record; March was cold and wet whilst April delivered above average rainfall in all areas.”
Where irrigation is available, it costs in the region of €100/acre for every 25mm application of water.
The warm and dry weather has increased pest and disease pressure in crops and reduced the efficacy of available crop protection measures.