Britain’s onion harvest is likely to be 25% down this year both in terms of quantity and size according to British Onions chairman Tim Elcombe.
The warm weather in May allowed the onions to catch up following the late drilling and planting which resulted from the wet spring, however the hot weather in June and July has put the onion crop under considerable stress affecting both yield and bulb size.
Growers and their staff are working to keep crops irrigated, however there are a number of areas of the country where water abstraction is being limited and their own reserves are very low.
Founded in 1986, the British Onion Producers’ Association was formed with the objective of improving quality standards and ensuring year round continuity of quality British onions. Around 450,000 tonnes are harvested in the UK every year.
Elcombe said: “Most crops are going to suffer from a lack of large onions, which will have an impact on availability of the three in line pack formats which are sold in most retailers. Crops are irrigated at this time of year to put on weight and size but irrigation is currently just keeping the plant alive – crops without irrigation are dying.”