South Somerset cider farm owner not worried over drought talks

Yeovil Express: South Somerset cider farm owner not worried over drought talks South Somerset cider farm owner not worried over drought talks

THE owner of a South Somerset cider farm says drinkers won’t be left dry this summer despite reports that devastating floods have left the country on the brink of a cider drought.

Heavy rain since the turn of the year has swamped acres of apple orchards across Somerset, threatening Britain’s booming cider industry.

Media reports this week have warned of a cider drought due to the tree damage, but apple growers believe people will still be able to enjoy their favourite tipple.

Julian Temperley, of Somerset Cider Brandy Co at Kingsbury Episcopi, remains optimistic despite seeing some of his 170 acres under water.

He told the News: “We’ve had a dreadful winter and a lot of trees have taken a battering, but it’s going to take more than a flood to stop the Somerset cider industry.

“We’re not talking about a game-changing amount, and to say there’s going to be a drought is undoubtedly alarmist.”

Experts say just 14 days underwater can destroy an apple tree’s root system.

Mr Temperley said: “I’d expect a lot of trees to look a bit sad – some will cheer up, but some will give up the ghost.

“This is probably the worst we’ve seen it, but the harvest finished before the wet came.

“It might affect next year’s crop a little, but we’re not talking devastation.”

The National Association of Cider Makers warns that crops may not live up to expectations for the next few years.

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