Potato yields from the early Jersey Royal crop are down 40% as drought grips the Channel Islands in bone dry conditions not seen since the drought of 1976. David Jones reports for Farmers Weekly in the UK.
A very wet February was followed by virtually no rain through March and April, and the season on Jersey is running three or four weeks behind the normal lifting schedule.
William Church, sales and marketing director of the Jersey Royal Company, says tuber sizes are down and the lifting season has been extended until mid-July in the hope of some rain.
“This is a very challenging year – some say the worst since 1976 – and we are now begging for rain,” he tells Farmers Weekly.
The tough season comes just as the Jersey Royal Company was named as the 40th Linking Environment and Farming (Leaf) demonstration farm, reflecting the group’s work on sustainable farming.
The company grows about 60% of Jersey’s early potatoes, or some 1,800ha, on an island where one third of the cultivated land grows potatoes of the Jersey Royal variety.
Read David Jones’ full report in Farmers Weekly here
Photo: Farmers Weekly