“Regarding the Belgian potato harvest, it seems as if we can speak more and more of a blessing in disguise. The wet month of July and the dry summer made it was almost impossible to grub up the potatoes. Fortunately, enough rain fell in large parts of Belgium, allowing the grubbing machines and contract workers to work region by region,” says Romain Cools of Belgapom. “In large parts of western and eastern Flanders and Henegouwen, the grubbing up has nearly finished. Bizarrely, we still had some plots that had to wait because the soil was too wet. By now, grubbing up has also started in full swing in the rest of Flanders and Wallonia, and they are working 24-7.
In spite of this, it is much slower work than the harvesters had hoped, but the storage harvest is still being stored. Perhaps we will have stored the largest part of the Belgian storage harvest in ten days time. The weather circumstances appear to be more favourable now, the first winter’s cold is not expected for the coming days, at least.”
“We already knew that sales would be lower on average, and various strains show some problems in quality, such as growth cracks. But perhaps the biggest problem is the high dry matter content in the tubers. The drought and the spontaneous dying of the leaves, caused that to remain high, and it even continued rising. The tubers are therefore very sensitive to bruising, which is going to cause problems during the entire storing season. But as I said before: it will not be business as usual this year.”
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