At this point there is severe risk that much of the potato crop will not be harvested if weather conditions do not improve. Nationally, only 30% of the potato crop is harvested. Normally, it’s closer to 60% at this time of year. Due to wet conditions, harvesting losses will be higher, which will result in lower saleable yields.
In the north east region where half of the national crop is sown, growers have experienced almost double the normal average rainfall in August and September. Harvesting of the main crop in this region is three weeks behind last year.
National potato acreage at 8,100 ha is the second lowest on record and only 3% above last year’s all-time low of 7,900ha.
In Europe similar situations are experienced. Lifting has been held up by rain and the delays are starting to raise doubts about whether all the crop will be lifted in Holland. On heavier soils, clearance is only put at 30% and lifting is “unlikely this week”. Contacts report that fields which have been irrigated (to 70%) are noticeably much wetter. On lighter soils in Holland, progress is put between 40 and 50%.
As regards exports growers with stock lifted in dry conditions are now pushing for higher prices, although values are broadly unchanged this week.
Ex-Farm Potato Prices reported to IFA
|Rooster box (new season)||€360||€400||€370|
|Rooster10 kg bag||€3.90||€4.60||€4.20|
|K Pinks 10kg bag||€5.00||€5.50||€5.20|