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UK farmers count cost as heatwave kills fruit and vegetable crops

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theguardian.com

The UK heatwave has caused fruit and vegetables to die on the vine as growers fear the drought and further hot temperatures could ruin harvests this year.Fruit and vegetable suppliers have been counting their losses after record temperatures in July caused crops to fail.There are fears that future hot summers could affect Britain’s food security as growers experience the impacts of the climate crisis.“It’s not just fruit – we lost entire plantings of peas, entire sowings of broad beans, things like baby spinach was lost, salad heads were lost,” said Vernon Mascarenhas, who runs the fruit and vegetable wholesaler Nature’s Choice at New Covent Garden Market in London.He faced a shortage of berries because the heat had simply cooked them.“We are in the height of our berry season, and we didn’t pick quite a lot of fruit during that week.

There were major difficulties. The fruit is now coming back but if there is more intense heat forecast, that would be a worry.“When we had our flowering season we didn’t have any frosts so we were very excited, we thought we were going to have our best year ever, one of our top fruit seasons, but now we don’t know because the heat has killed some of it off.“If we are going to get another impact of hot weather, we could be in real trouble.”Mascarenhas is also concerned that the apple and pear crop will be harmed by the hotter, drier summer.“I would worry about the apples and pears in August if we have further heatwaves.

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