Frightening times: Lincolnshire farmer fears pumpkin shortage because of summer heatwave

Farmers are warning there could be a pumpkin shortage this Halloween because of the searing heat the UK has experienced this summer.

The warm weather has meant that many farmers' crops have already ripened - far earlier than usual, and there are also concerns about their quality.

William Tyrrell, who farms near Spalding in Lincolnshire, is among those affected and is now worried he might have to harvest them soon, with more than two months left until Halloween.

"The heatwave has limited the yield and made them ripen early," he told ITV News Anglia.

"You can put these pumpkins into controlled storage to hold them until October but if we were to harvest them it ruins the experience for the public coming to pick their own."

The familiar orange colour is already evident in fields - despite Halloween being two months away. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Pumpkins are not the only crop to be severely affected by the heatwave.

A Norfolk farmer has already given away a field full of onions - estimated at 40 tonnes - because damage caused by the heatwave means they cannot be harvested, with many splitting in the extreme heat.

Ian Hall has 15 acres of carrots at his farm in Cambridgeshire. But he says the vegetables are smaller and mishapen because of the rock hard soil, due to a lack or rain and irrigation.

"What carrots are not used to is the extremes of the heat we've just had," he said. "These days where it's 28-29C or above are a killer for the crop.

"Even when we're watering the crop, we're watering it and we're barely keeping the crop alive. That's all we're doing. We're not aiding the crop to bulk up. It is getting pretty desperate."

Farmers fear it could all lead to higher prices and and trying to find imports unless significant rain comes soon.

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