The revised estimate for the total 2018 potato planted area in GB is 117.3Kha, down 4.4% from the 2017 area of 122.8Kha, acccording to statistics released by AHDB Potatoes yesterday. The updated value is 2.1Kha below the first August estimate (119.4Kha).
The revised estimate represents the GB area covered by over 90% of producers, and reflects both lasts years high production and challenging market conditions, coupled with the difficulties in planting in spring. Despite the fall in the overall GB area, there continues to be change within the sector.
Movement was seen within the top 10 potato varieties this year, although the top three most widely grown varieties have retained their position. Maris Piper remains the most popular variety, although the area has undergone a third consecutive year of decline it is forecast to be down 8.4% year on year, to 15.1Kha. The traditional all-round variety is losing ground as change is being seen in the kitchen table white packing market.
Nectar climbed two places to become the fourth most widely grown potato variety in Great Britain, rising 0.5Kha on the year to 3.7Kha. Positive reports about the yield potential and packing market demand for Nectar are likely to have driven the area increase.