This Summer’s extreme hot weather has prompted problems with a multitude of crops – and it now looks like the humble Brussels sprout is set to be affected by the hot weather, jeopardising the Christmas dinner staple.
Three months of dry, hot weather has resulted in unfavourable conditions for the planting of the crop.
The National Farming Union (NFU) recently held an emergency summit in order to discuss the impact of the heatwave, stating that we could be at risk of a sprout-free Christmas.
NFU’s emergency summit appealed for the government to provide relief from the extreme impact of the heatwave, including potentially accessing additional water supplies.
Sprouts aren’t the only vegetables impacted by the weather, with shortages of broccoli, cabbage, potatoes and peas all predicted in recent weeks, raising the alarm of stripped-back Christmas dinners.
The cold, long winter at the beginning of the year paired with an exceptionally hot summer could now result in food shortages and disappointing crops this autumn and winter.
Typically farmers would be pushing crops to grow at this time of the year, but now some farmers are irrigating vegetable crops to keep them alive. This could result in smaller vegetables
The demand for the beloved sprout increases dramatically in the lead up to Christmas – the timing of their harvesting is crucial.
If there is too much warmth in the run up to Christmas, sprouts could be ready at the beginning of December, which is much earlier than their usual arrival in the second and third week.
If the current trend for freezing winters and extremely hot summers continues, the nation is now being warned that British farming could be facing a crisis, with more crop troubles looming.
Chief executive of the British Growers Association, Jack Ward, said: “With sprouts, you are trying to hit peak production around Christmas which is why it’s so difficult”.
However, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, recently promised support to ensure farmers “have what they need in order to provide us with high-quality food and ensure their businesses survive.”
The weather is set to warm up over the next few weeks, with famers across the UK already struggling with the impact that recent temperatures have had on land and crops.
It’s now a waiting game to see if the humble brussels sprout will make an eagerly anticipated appearance on dinner plates this Christmas.