A Suffolk potato and onion grower is facing eye-watering costs to dry and store his harvested vegetables over winter, as Sarah Chambers reports for the East Anglian Daily Times.
Woodbridge farmer James Foskett grows about 50 acres of seed potatoes. His potato storage costs will see big increases from about £30/t to £80-90/t for these. “So, the energy charges will really start to bite,” he says. “There’s slightly less energy used in storing potatoes and we don’t store them as long,” he says. Most will go in January to February.
His seed potato harvest has been hit by the heatwave. “There’s no irrigation in those places. We take a gamble and we plant them without irrigation.” As a result yields have taken a hit. He budgets on 12t/ha but is looking at around just 7t/ha.
It’s been difficult to harvest the potatoes as the drought has hardened the soil. The drought means the crops are potentially prey to a number of pests and diseases including wireworm and black dot – and sunburn.
Source: East Anglian Daily Times. Read the full story here
Photo: James Foskett of Bromewell, near Woodbridge, is faced with rising costs on all fronts. Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown via East Anglian Daily Times