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June rain takes toll on pea harvest

Late vining pea crops could see 15 per cent losses due to heavy rain which fell in the area between the River Steeping which flows through Wainfleet and River Witham, near Boston in Lincolnshire last month.

 

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Stephen Francis, managing director of Fen Peas says the company began harvesting vining peas on June 11. “This was a week earlier than normal which I put down to the warm spell in February. The day we started the rain fell. We were harvesting in tortuous conditions early on in Sleaford.”

 

Peas for late harvesting which have been under water in the Wainfleet area, have suffered, says Mr Francis. “It is difficult to put a figure on it but 15 per cent of late peas could have been lost in the Wainfleet area.”

 

Fen Peas is about 20 per cent of the way through the vining pea harvest, says Mr Francis. “Currently we are averaging two tonnes/acre but that figure could drop because of the crop losses later on. Quality is very good – the colour is good and the flavour is good.”

 

Further north in East Yorkshire and north Lincolnshire, pea harvesting got underway late last week for the Green Pea company. Although it is too early to comment on yields, director of the company Peter Caley says crops look well. “They are a lot better than last year when we had poor soil conditions followed by a really hot spell that frazzled them before harvest.”


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