Tayside and Central Scotland

Scottish daffodils wither as pickers delayed by English crop

Millions of Scottish daffodils are withering in the fields because the mild winter has brought them into bloom at the same time as those in England.

The army of pickers who normally harvest both crops are still working south of the border.

As florists gear up for one of their busiest weekends of the year with Mothering Sunday, Scottish growers say they will not be sharing the profits.

The main Scottish co-operative in Angus has already lost 15 million flowers.

Most years the seasons in Scotland lag behind those in the south of England by three or four weeks but this time there has been a clash of the daffodil harvests.

Peak days

Scottish growers had a mild winter and spring which brought their flowers out ten days early.

The big English farms in Cornwall and Lincolnshire suffered a cold snap last month, putting their crop back by a fortnight.

At Grampian Growers in Montrose there should be 500 pickers at work but at the moment there are only 100.

Mark Clark, from the co-operative, told BBC Scotland: "It is very frustrating when we look at the two big days of Mother's Day and Easter Sunday. These are the two peak productions of our season.

"In a good season we will have a lot of production ready for Mother's Day.

"We would have had that this year, had we had the pickers to do it and had the marketplace been receptive for them."

When the pickers do turn up in Scotland there is another concern, the market will already be flooded with English daffies and the price will fall.

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