Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Cornish farming suffering at the hands of unpredictable weather

The unpredictable weather is making life very difficult for farmers in our region. Photo: ITV News

The unpredictable weather is making life very difficult for farmers in our region.

James Hosking's family have been farming flowers at Fentongollan for more than 130 years.

However thanks to the deep mud, this growing season has been amongst the most unpredictable.

The deep mud this growing season has made this growing season very difficult. Credit: ITV News

We've never had the dry spell we went through last autumn, it's been wet for two months, it'll be dry next month and now we're still here thinking it'll be dry next week but actually we've just looked at the forecast and hopefully we might get a few dry days but it's not looking fantastic.

We're sort of struggling with finding ways of getting out of fields without causing too much damage. It is so muddy out here and our biggest problem with daffodils is they can't be muddy, so we've got to try and keep them clean too.

– James Hoskings, farmer
Daffodils must be kept clean in order to thrive. Credit: ITV News

At the weekend we could see minus temperatures and even the threat of snow flurries.

A typical temperature for Cornwall at this time of year is more like 7 to 10 degrees.

But James says it's not all been bad.

The weather has been remarkably awful this spring. It's been horrible for the pickers because it's been horribly wet out here and cold and some of the days have been very cold but the daffodils grow slowly so we can pick them all and we haven't had the rush you get on a warm day.

– James Hoskings, farmer
The family also raise lamb with 1000 breeding ewes. Credit: ITV News

The family also raise lamb with 1000 breeding ewes. Like many livestock farmers the cold snap has been hard to manage.

Trying to lamb with snow on the ground, we all had to fill our sheds up with sheep because you couldn't turn them out because the ground was covered in snow.

One of the worst things for lambs is being cold and wet. Now sheep can cope with cold dry weather but not cold wet weather that can get through them. But most of us lambed in March because it should be easier you should have a bit of sun and the grass growing and springs happening but it's definitely not happening here at the moment.

– James Hoskings, farmer

James hopes by Easter the weather will turn a little milder and more typically Cornish.