Europe, UK, Ireland, Production/Agronomy, Trends, Weather/Climate

Ireland: Potatoes stop growing in parched earth

David Rodgers says dry weather has forced his potato plants into “shutting down”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish TimesDavid Rodgers, the second generation of his family growing potatoes in Ballyboughal, and his father have never experienced anything like it. So parched is the earth in this famously lush and fertile north Co Dublin countryside that potatoes are not growing at all. “There is definitely going to be a scarcity of potatoes and vegetables in Ireland, ” he says gloomily, “I think it will start hitting in the next two to three weeks. Rodgers says the unprecedented conditions over recent weeks have forced his potato plants into “shutting down”. Even more unusually, as they come out of dormancy with milder temperatures returning, they are essentially “going to seed underground”. This means no potatoes. “We’re looking at half of the crop not making it,” he says. “I know there was a trial done to try and grow Roosters in Spain, and they wouldn’t grow – maybe now we know why.” Read more

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