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Potato planting in the UK holds up despite challenges for growers

New UK potato figures have revealed a mere 1% drop in planted area despite a turbulent season for growers, Claire Taylor reports for The Scottish Farmer.

Although wet weather is expected to have hampered early planting, a turn in the conditions in early spring meant planting for the maincrop went largely unaffected.

Provisional estimates from AHDB show the planted area in Great Britain at 119Kha, which, if correct, shows only a 1% drop on last year. The fall takes into account revisions to the 2019 planted area data since September.

Covid-19 doesn’t appear to have had an effect on planting decisions as many growers had already made plans by the time the pandemic hit.

Although it is early days, AHDB figures suggest that the 2020/21 UK potato crop could be 5.4Mt if the average yield is 45 t/ha. 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.

Source: Read the full report in The Scottish Farmer
Photo: The Scottish Farmer

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