“British farmers in turmoil as delayed spring plays havoc with growing season,” reads the Guardian headline.
“Last year, asparagus growers were harvesting as early as 8 April. This spring, they are not expecting to harvest until the last week of April … just one of the consequences of Britain’s disastrously delayed spring.”
“We have had a very challenging time,” said Guy Smith, vice president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). “More often now we seem to be stuck in long periods of wet months and then long periods of dry months, which is more challenging for farmers.”
Adam Lockwood grows spring onions. “At the minute we’re struggling to get going,” he said. “Potato growers haven’t even started planting yet and drilling dates are well behind where they should be.
“Lettuce and brassica growers who have plants raised in a nursery that were ready weeks ago, they’re now having to throw those away.”
“We’re getting more rain in a shorter period rather than evenly distributed across the year – that’s what I’m noticing. And you’re getting more intense dry periods. It’s more extreme.”
Livestock and dairy producers have been particularly hard hit. “It’s been a very late spring, even for a hill farm where we are,” said Richard Findlay, chair of the NFU’s livestock board, who farms in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
“Instead of keeping the sheep in a couple of days after they’ve had lambs, we’re keeping them in for two or three weeks. We’re very fortunate in that we have the buildings to do it, but a lot of neighbours who don’t are struggling and have had many more losses.
Very little grass for the animals
“We have nearly 1,000 sheep and it’s costing us about £1,000 extra a week at the moment to feed and house them to avoid a lot of losses. If we turned them out in poor weather there would be very little grass to eat.”
“It’s been the worst and most challenging time that I can remember,” Findlay said. “It really started last summer, which was very wet and quite cool, and the autumn and winter have generally been very wet.
The article attempts to blame ‘climate change’ for the delayed spring, but fails to mention that the same sort of weather lead to millions of deaths during the Maunder Minimum.
Thanks to Phil Salmon for this link
“Needless to say it’s all evidence of man-made climate change,” says Phil. “Unbelievable that they keep this up with a straight face. At least their last sentence is along the right lines: “We need to remember that it’s reckless to take food production for granted…”