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Doug Niven’s Gleaner column: Gloomy outlook for Scottish potatoes – but wheat on a high

“Winter-sown crops in Scotland continue to look well given recent relatively mild weather, even though we had 100mm, or four inches of rain in October to give a total for the year at the beginning of November of 541mm, or 21 inches,” writes Doug Niven in his column published in The Scottish Farmer today.

That has meant that there are still potatoes to be lifted in some parts of Scotland, Niven says. He points out that there are some quality issues that have been identified recently with pest damage, rot and bruising, which will be a concern for long term storage. Niven asks: Will that see supplies coming onto the market earlier than planned?

Niven says that during October, the weekly average price for potatoes, including free-buy and contract dropped by £18.20/tonne to £132.36, but Maris Piper has seen a premium over Grade 1 whites, especially where samples had top quality skin finish and prices increased from £110-£150/tonne during October, and the overall tonnage traded increased by 17% from September, but it was still 9% down from the same period last year.

October saw 23% of sales done on a free-buy basis and 77% on contract, in contrast to the previous month where 19% was on free-buy and 81% on contract.

Source: The Scottish Farmer. Read the full article here
Photo: Doug Niven. Rob Haining / The Scottish Farmer

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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