New estimates show a small drop in the UK planted area for potatoes despite a turbulent season for growers. Provisional figures from AHDB show the planted area in Britain at 119Kha, which, if correct, shows only a 1 percent drop on last year. FarmingUK reports.
The fall takes into account revisions to the 2019 planted area data since September. The figures suggest a minimal impact from the coronavirus crisis on planting decisions, as many growers had already made plans by the time the pandemic hit.
Although it is early days, the 2020/21 UK potato crop could be 5.4Mt if the average yield is 45t per hectare. Lower yields are anticipated on the early crops due to frosts in mid-May but yields on maincrop potatoes are looking relatively robust. The estimate, at 45t/ha, would mean a rise in production compared to last year, despite a drop in the planted area.
AHDB analyst Alice Bailey said: