Ireland – Growers and industry specialists have warned that there will be a shortage of fruit and vegetables including cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, broccoli and sprouts for the rest of the year.

The specialists say that the shortage has been caused by the current drought conditions, which followed heavy rains earlier in the year.

The Irish Independent newspaper reported that the atypical weather conditions were impacting the growth of fruit and vegetables, resulting in most crops being “up to a month behind schedule.”

“There will be shortages because there are no longer enough growers in the country, coupled with the fact that the weather has been so unpredictable,” said Richard Hackett, an agronomist and consultant based in Dublin, who works with the agriculture and food development agency Teagasc.

“It is crucial to establish field crops in April, May, and June. However, this year has presented challenges. The success of these crops relies on early summer establishment, and if that window is missed, it becomes very difficult to recover,” he added.

Niall McCormack, chairperson of the Horticulture Committee of the Irish Farming Association and a fruit grower near Longford, estimated that the volume of field vegetables grown in the country this year would decline by 7%.

According to Niall, the growing season was delayed this year. Although the weather and soil have now warmed up, everything is expected to be late for harvesting. This puts significant pressure on growers, who are already in a stressful industry.

In a recent article by DW, many farmers in Europe are concerned about their crops due to the insufficient rainfall during this early part of the year.

Insufficient winter precipitation is crucial for replenishing groundwater reserves, which is leading to water scarcity in Italy, France, and other countries. This threatens this year’s harvests, as outlined in the report.

Moreover, a recent article by The Telegraph reports that extreme heat and strained water supplies are stunting the growth of many vegetables, thereby reducing the size and quality of the crop.

“Retailers could normally find alternative sources in Europe, but European farmers also faced a brutal heatwave,” the report said. “Additionally, delays at Britain’s ports threaten to reduce the supply from the continent.”

CNBC further reports that the hot and dry weather has forced supermarkets to ration sales of produce, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, and lettuce, due to volatile growing conditions elsewhere in Europe, including drought.