THE chips are down for spud lovers — with farmers warning that Britain is becoming too hot and dry to grow potatoes.
The news piles yet more pressure on fish and chip shops, already battered by rocketing costs.
Up to 40 of the UK’s 10,500 chippies are closing each week in the wake of tariffs on seafood from Russia and the rising cost of cooking oil since its invasion of Ukraine.
Farmers say potatoes are particularly vulnerable to heatwaves because they are 80 per cent water and now is a key harvest time.
They added that onions, carrots and lettuce are all being hit too.
Some parts of the UK have not had any substantial rainfall since the Jubilee weekend in June.
Tom Bradshaw, from the NFU union, told trade journal The Grocer the water shortage was now “critical”.
He said: “I can’t see how potato yields are going to be anything but well below average — onion yields the same.
“The hot weather has also had really severe impacts on carrots and lettuce.”
The situation could become even worse as farmers are planting less because of the soaring costs of energy and fertiliser.
Jack Ward, of the British Growers Association, said that some farmers were halving production.
Problems are being faced around the world, with McDonald’s already taking large portions of French fries off the menu in countries such as Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia because of limited availability.
Source: The Sun