Daffodil crop set for early picking

Scotland’s daffodil crop is on target for picking to begin in the next three to four weeks.

It’s an earlier than average start, but not as early as last year’s February 19 beginning.

Mark Clark, managing director of Montrose-based farmers’ co-operative Grampian Growers, said an early season is usually good for Grampian’s members, depending when Easter falls.

“In general, an early start is good, although the biggest benefit is felt on the bulb side of our business because the bulbs from which we don’t pick any flowers start to grow on earlier and we get better bulb yields as a result.”

Seasonal timing also has an impact on marketplace competition in the UK.

The good news for Scottish growers this year is that although Cornwall suffered a very cold spell 10 days ago, almost halting production, a return to milder weather means the crop there is already in full production.

Meanwhile, the crop in Lincolnshire is very early this year, placing output there only about seven days behind Cornwall.

All of this leaves Scotland with its own market slot to fill in March and April.

Source: Press & Journal