FARMERS are warning of crop failure as a ban on taking river water comes into force.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) suspended the majority of water abstraction licenses for the River Eden in Fife after it fell to its second-lowest level on record.

But the National Farmers Union of Scotland (NFU Scotland) has warned that the ban will be devastating for some farmers and has called for priority crops such as broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce to continue to be irrigated, even at reduced levels.

Iain Brown, a farmer and chair of NFU Scotland’s horticulture committee, said his local vegetable cooperative harvested £1 million of broccoli and cauliflower each week.

He told BBC Scotland: "At the moment they are losing £250,000 of that. That could go up to £500,000 if this ban stays in place."

"These crops are not just for fresh produce going on the shelves in the coming weeks.

"We are also at the start of the freezing season where we are supplying product for the rest of the year.

READ MORE: Fife and Borders farmers banned from removing river water due to dry conditions

"The decision means there is going to be less Scottish locally produced vegetables on the shelves this summer and winter."

NFU Scotland has previously said that the blanket ban risks the economic viability of some farms.

SEPA has said it is working closely with farmers impacted by the ban.

The agency said that the main stem of the River Eden had only been recorded at a lower level in 1989.

It comes as a yellow thunderstorm warning comes into place across Scotland.