Low light levels, cool temperatures and high fuel prices are combining to cause major concern to UK salads growers at the start of their season. All this is on the back of a particularly difficult year in 2012.

Lee Stiles, secretary of the Lea Valley Growers Association said: “It has been a worrying start to the season with many cucumber growers reporting yields down by as much as 40 per cent compared to this time last year mainly due to the poor light levels. This has been compounded by up to 50 per cent more gas use at higher prices and supermarket promotions at the start of the British season.”

The situation is no different for growers of capsicum. LVGA chairman Gary Taylor MBE who grows sweet peppers said: “The big unknown is the 20 per cent down on light on the 12 year average and what that will do long term. I suspect

that it will again be a poor year following last years worst ever.”