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UK leek season three weeks behind

The UK leek season has finally started. Growers are around three weeks behind compared to normal seasons and yields are down. This is due to the excess rainfall and low light levels experienced by all British growers this year.

Philip Lilley, Director at Hammond Produce and Chairman of the Leek Growers Association, explains, "It has been a very challenging year with crops taking a bashing from the weather. 2012 has been a year of extraordinary weather combinations; excess rainfall after drilling and onwards coupled with low light levels particularly through the optimum growing time in June and July have resulted in a reduced yield from the start of the British crop, although quality has been good."

Growers are hoping for a mild winter and early spring to help leeks achieve their potential. Philip says that with temperatures currently at 8 to 10 degrees going into November this is looking less likely; "but with the right weather conditions in the New Year and into the spring we will see better growth and improvement in leek yields. This is the situation across the country, although some regions may have coped slightly better depending on soil type."

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