Supermarket buyers will be keeping a close watch on the appearance of English onions this season, according to Bob Smith, director of distributor and importer Holus Bureau.
“So far, with the season underway for about three weeks, skin staining has not been present as bulbs lifted earlier were grown from early sets,” said Smith. However, the wet weather that followed this harvest has raised the risk of staining in subsequent crops, he warned.
Elsewhere there was better news. “The recent burst of hot dry weather has saved the English onion crop from disaster,” said David O’Connor, director of the Allium and Brassica Centre in Kirton, Lincolnshire.
The British Onion Producers Association official estimates will be announced at the end of this month. However, O’Connor anticipates supplies will be sufficient to last until June.
“The drilled crop is in good order because it is mainly grown on sandy soil which drains well,” he said.