Halloween warning as pumpkin shortage to hit shoppers this year

By Sophie Law

Halloween fans are being warned over a pumpkin shortage this year that threatens to cancel the spooky holiday.

Experts are warning this year's harvest is in short supply due to a lack of lorry drivers and poor weather for crops - and it could spoil a lucrative pumpkin picking season.

It comes as supermarkets in Scotland and across the UK have been laid bare with empty shelves due to issues with the supply chain sparked by new Brexit rules.

Farmers are terrified that recent bad weather has failed to ripen crops, with pumpkins the latest victim, i News reports.

Experts are now warning that the squash will be difficult to purchase this Halloween due to lack of sunshine and heat.

Experts are warning this year's harvest is in short supply (Getty Images)

The publication reports that parts of the UK saw just 65 per cent of the average rate of sunshine in August, with temperatures failing to rise above 15C.

Leading wholesale pumpkin supplier Lyburn Farm in Salisbury has closed its order books and says it is already oversubscribed.

“We are not taking any more orders for the 2021 season for the time being as we are over subscribed and not even running a waiting list," it said.

“The crop is now looking good but slow to ripen due to lack of sunshine and heat, as a result they are still looking very green."

Last year, farmers in Scotland were terrified Halloween could be cancelled due to the spread of Covid-19.

John Laird, of Cairnie Farm in Cupar, Fife, said 12,000 were at risk due to the travel restrictions in place during lockdown.

This year, it's the shortage of HGV drivers bringing fresh fruit and vegetables to supermarkets that is causing the issue.

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