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Weather woes hit British potato crop

Potato growers in the UK are starting to lift a crop that has weathered difficult conditions and is being sold into an uncertain market, writes Cedric Porter in an article for Farmers Guardian.

Porter says most potatoes were planted in very good conditions as the wet winter gave way to a drier spring just in time. But it was one of the coldest April’s on record, followed by a very wet May and then a mixed summer with some heat but plenty of rain.

Kent-based Graeme Skinner, independent potato agronomist and director of Provenance Potatoes, said it had been one of the most difficult seasons he could remember, with one of the biggest issues the lack of sunshine this summer. With growers now burning off crops, yields are locked. Meanwhile quality is reasonable, although growers have had to apply regular blight sprays to prevent disease spread and wireworm was also a problem, added Mr Skinner. He also reported a lack of sunshine.

According to Porter, judging the size of the British crop is difficult this year because of the demise of the AHDB’s potato services and crop estimates.

Source: Farmers Guardian. Read the full report here
Photo: Farmers Guardian

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