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Cornish new potatoes flourishing after wet start

Growers of Cornish new potatoes said their crops are now flourishing after a miserable start to the year. Ed Leahy of Fruitnet reports.

In conditions that “weren’t ideal” following the wettest February on record, Cornish grower FG Pryor & Son was unable to plant anything between 8th February and 12th March due to waterlogged conditions. The new potato producer was forced to chit its seed potatoes in trays to give the crop a head start as soon as they were able to get back on land.

From this point onwards the business planted on any dry day that they could. The latter part of March was an extremely busy time for planting however, followed by a warm April with plenty of sunshine and just enough rain to help the plants flourish. 

FG Pryor is currently harvesting in the fields around Penzance, lifting the fluffy-skinned Cornish new potatoes: initially destined only for Cornwall, but shortly to be available nationwide. 

Much of this will be harvested by hand to protect the delicate skins and make sure they can get the most out of these smaller more geographically challenging areas.

Colwyn Farm has been run by the Pryor family since the late 1800’s. Philip Pryor says: “I want to hand the land over to the next generation in the same or better state than it was handed to me.” 

This will be the third season that they’ve incorporated cover crops into their farming rotation. These seed mixes protect the soil over winter, locking in nutrients and then releasing them back into the ground when they’re incorporated in readiness for the next crop.

Read the full report on Fruitnet
Photo: The Pryor family | Fruitnet

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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