21 July 1995

Vining pea crops poor

EARLY-sown vining peas have performed poorly, raising the risk of higher prices to consumers and imports to meet retail demand.

Production was "very disappointing" from the first 30% of the crop, says Colin Wright of Birds Eye, Lowestoft. With no carryover stocks from last year, early crops were harvested, frozen and fed into supermarkets in hours.

Typical of affected growers is Leonard Morris of South Kyme Fen near Woodhall Spa, Lincs. He blames severe late frosts, wet weather in early June (which encouraged secondary growth) and drought for a 30% yield cut.

Later sown crops are yielding normally. But that will not clear the shortfall, leading to "inevit- able" rises. Imports could be on the cards, but Dutch and Belgian crops also suffering, he adds.

Pea yields were down 30%at Leonard Morriss South Kyme Fen.