Potatoes Reports

Potato Council Report September 2020

Market Report 

Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA

Rooster box (New Season)€400€450€425
Rooster 10 kg (New Season)€5.00€6.00€5.50
New Season Queen 10kg bag€5€7€6

The potato market remains stable this week as schools return. With no let-up in wet weather the lifting of crops continues to be affected, limiting the supply of new season maincrop onto the market. Old season stocks are diminishing with strong demand for good quality stock.  The Queen market remains buoyant as lifting finishes in parts of the country.

In the U.K. harvesting conditions are mixed, many growers have been stopped with heavy rain with some areas still remaining a touch dry. The cooler weather has also affected coastal trade slightly, which is where the bulk of demand is coming from. The second provisional planted area estimate for the total Britain potato area for 2020/21 is 119Kha

Heavy thunderstorms have been widespread over mainland Europe this week although a minority of areas remain relatively dry. Test digs continue to confirm yields as “average” but with a high content of 50mm + and often with high Dry Matter.

Activity since last National Council

  • IFA will have the results for the 2020 planted acreage survey in the coming weeks. DAFM preliminary BPS area figures show potato area similar to 2019. Yields are likely to take a hit from the drought which has left lower tuber numbers.
  • An online national Potato Committee meeting was held on the 16th of July. The main discussion points were: weather conditions, 2020 season progress and diquat derogation.
  • A number of growers supplying the catering and fresh chip sectors have continued to be seriously affected by the lack of demand due to the impact of the pandemic and have had to send potatoes for cattle feed. IFA continue to engage with DAFM on this.
  • IFA has been involved in meetings of the Potato Promotion group to launch the new EU potato promotion campaign. The second activation of the new promotion campaign is due to take place this month. The website can be found on https://www.potato.ie/
  • IFA met with Ministers for Agriculture Barry Cowan & Darragh Calleary on the emergency approval of diquat based on the current weather and blight conditions.  All other relevant TD’s have also been lobbied on the issue with a series of letters having been sent to DAFM.
  • There was another meeting of the Potato Development Group to discuss the seed and fresh chip sectors.

EU/COPA developments

  • IFA made a contribution to the EU commission objecting to the decision of Austria to ban the use of glyphosate. The commission have postponed their decision until the end of the year.
  • IFA, along with Copa.Cogeca, are continuing their lobbying in Brussels regarding the reapproval and authorisation of a number of vital PPP’s.
  • IFA made a submission to the EU Commission on The Combined Roadmap for the Evaluation of the EU Legislation on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides.
  • The Farm to Fork Strategy element of the European Green Deal is aiming to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. IFA have highlighted that there is nothing fair about targets in the Green Deal, which will increase the regulatory burden and undermine local tillage framers while continuing to allow access to non-EU feedstuffs produced to different standards.

Upcoming Activity/Events

  • Due to the necessity of the product IFA will continue its work seeking a derogation for Diquat.
  • IFA will continue to demand that packers and retailers pay sustainable potato farm gate prices.
  • IFA will continue to contact growers to ensure they are aware of the costs of production.
  • Potato Promotions – The second activation of the potato promotions is due to begin in the next two weeks. Again, this activation will be online using six influencers to promote potato recipes to millennials. Growers have received a letter to support this initiative. Growers contribute 20% of the funding but this will be matched by 80% co-funding from the EU.
  • National Potato Day – This year National Potato day is on 2nd October and will be focused online due to restrictions. There will be online activations for this in early October. IFA will be involved in the planning and will be participating in the activities.
  • There will be further interaction with DAFM regarding the inclusion of haulm toppers and potato storage equipment under TAMS.
ChairThomas McKeown
ExecutivePatrick Farrell

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