16April2014

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British Potato Harvest Suffers from Heavy Rain

The lifting of new potatoes in Great Britain is suffering the effects of unusually heavy rainfall, according to the Potato Council demand is steady, but supply of most varieties is short. Total early GB crop harvested to July 07 was estimated at 1,991 ha, and movement of 38,514t (19.3t/ha), which compares with 3,567 ha and movement of 100,464t (28.2t/ha) in the same week last year, and 2,981ha and movement of 64,041t (21.5t/ha) in 2010.

Adverse weather conditions, including heavy rainfall continued to interrupt lifting in all regions. In the West, crop development remains well behind normal although temperatures increased which has improved growing conditions but the lack of warm sunshine is still inhibiting rapid growth. There was some further flooding in Herefordshire, with reports of some to be replanted. Lifting in Shropshire is expected to gain momentum this week and although dry matters are improving chipping qualities are being impaired by slow maturing crops. There are further problems associated with the wet conditions notably blackleg and some water logging.

In the South, Cornish L Rosetta for crisping was a priority, but growers were struggling to lift in the wet conditions and loadings were falling well behind contract schedules. In parts of the South East some crops are having to be deep harrowed between the rows to loosen soil prior to lifting.

In the East, low tuber numbers are reported which could reduce final yield potential. Burning off of Marfona baker crops is reported to be 2-3 weeks delayed.

In Scotland the further dull wet weather hindered crop development and crop growth was irregular within fields and between fields. Lifting continued in the West, which had less rain than other areas. Epicure and Rocket were yielding 17-20 t/ha, with M Peer and Casablanca 25-30 t/ha, with some fields burnt off to retain salad size. Lifting was restricted in East Lothian by rain and wet conditions, although some contract M Peer had been lifted for salads.

Source: Fresh Plaza - British Potato Harvest Suffers from Heavy Rain