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Coronavirus lockdown complicates potato planting decisions

Potato planting decisions for British farmers are being complicated by uncertainty over the length of the coronavirus lockdown and an overhang of processing material since restaurants, canteens and other food service outlets were shut down, Suzie Horne writes in Farmers Weekly.

She says free-buy trade has quietened and retail demand appears to have reduced slightly, with supermarkets and packers possibly having overcommitted in the short term. Most chip shops are closed – only those that can guarantee services which comply with government guidance are operating, so trade in the chipping market is at almost a complete standstill, according to the AHDB.

The lockdown would have a direct effect on the processing sector and an influence on others, said Nick Blake, director with consultant Andersons Eastern. “Discussions are already going on about planted area,” he said.

There is a huge tonnage of processing material looking for a home in Britain, with some factories closing and others scaling down.

Source: Farmers Weekly. Full report here
Photo: Tim Scrivener

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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