FARMERS across the region could be preparing for a significantly reduced harvest this year due to exceptionally wet weather.
A wet spring followed by the wettest June since records began has made conditions very difficult for farmers in Huddersfield and the rest of West Yorkshire, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has said.
And with waterlogged soils and unseasonably low light levels horticultural farmers have been hardest hit with late and depleted harvests, some down to 15%.
James Copeland, food and farming advisor for the NFU’s North East region, including Yorkshire, says crops such as cauliflower, broccoli and strawberries have been badly affected.
Mr Copeland said: “Because of the wet weather soil temperatures have been cold and obviously the crops don’t like that. There’s been low levels of sunlight.
“Farmers planted their crops early, expecting to have their produce on time, but now its ending up three to four weeks late.
“Of the stuff that’s available some are only getting 15-20% of the yield.
“If the weather improves we will be back on track but no-one knows what the weather will be doing.
“We’re still encouraging people to buy British and make the most of what there is.”
Livestock farmers are also having problems making grass-based feeds for their animals because of the wet weather, the NFU said.
Meanwhile, torrential rain in Calderdale brought more problems yesterday.
A cloudburst above the hillside at Keighley Road, Hebden Bridge, resulted in a large volume of surface water overwhelming drainage systems.
There was heavy localised flooding in the town and the library was closed and evacuated.
It caused the Rochdale Canal to overflow and the town’s streets were flooded.
Police closed Burnley Road between Mytholmroyd and Todmorden.
There were also localised reports of flooding in Mytholmroyd and police closed New Road.
Police, the Environment Agency and Calderdale Council engineers were called out and Highways engineers were checking drains.
They also put up sandbags in areas known to be particularly vulnerable.
There was also extra traffic as drivers avoided other flood-hit roads through Calderdale.
In Huddersfield, flooding again hit the A62 Cooper Bridge Road at Cooper Bridge also causing long tailbacks into Mirfield.