Europe, UK, Ireland, Sustainability, Trends, Weather/Climate

UK drought: Many potato farmers ‘seriously considering future viability’ of the crop

After two dry years out of four, many farmers are seriously considering the future viability of a water hungry crop like potatoes, as John Sleigh reports for The Scottish Farmer.

An exceptionally dry summer for much of the UK this year came on the back of a dry growing season in 2018, which has led some growers to question which fields might continue to be fit for future potato planting.

Speaking to The Scottish Farmer, the Executive Director at Agrico UK, Archie Gibson, said: “We have now had two in four dry years. In parts of eastern Scotland and most of England, if you can’t get water to your potatoes you are going to question if you should plant. A lot of farmers have put in reservoirs and more will need to be built to cope with dry summers.”

Since AHDB stopped reporting planted areas of potatoes it is difficult to get accurate data, however anecdotally it is clear farmers are reviewing the area they intend to plant to crop.

Source: The Scottish Farmer. Read the full story here
Photo: Irrigation is becoming a necessity in many UK potato fields. Credit The Scottish Farmer

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