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Persistent heavy rainfall in 2019 has put British veg from the brassica family at risk of being in short supply for Christmas dinners. 

Warnings about the lack of cauliflower, sprouts, white and red cabbages were made at the end of the summer after torrential downpours caused flooding and damaged crops in parts of the country. The Brassica Growers Association (BGA) reported that the flooding in June was too much and as a result crops suffered, leading to a possible shortage of supply. 

As crops thrive best on a balance of warmth, light and water, this year’s extreme weather conditions have not made for ideal growing conditions. 

A spokesman at the BGA said that growers start the season with a clear plan to provide customers with quantity and quality of produce but when the weather turns against you there is nothing that can be done to rectify the situation.

Harvest Manager Martin Gainsborough from Riverford Organic Farmers said despite the wet conditions the company had weathered the storms and were on target to meet demand. 

“Brassicas don’t like wet feet so where there are dips in the fields and it’s water logged they suffer and die or become limp. The drainage in our fields is not bad and we have coped okay with the rainfall. 

“We stick to sturdy brassicas, cabbages, curly kale, leeks – as they are pretty durable citizens. 

“People don’t need to worry about not getting the veg in their Riverford Organic boxes this Christmas. Like any other grower we wouldn’t be promoting what we do and sticking with it if we weren’t capable of delivering.” 

How has your business coped with the increased rainfall this autumn? Email caryn.may@hopsls.com