Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Trends, Weather/Climate

Climate crisis? Europe’s potato industry falls victim to extreme weather

Extreme weather events are severely impacting Europe’s potato industry, leading to a significant drop in overall potato output and record high prices, as Richard Halleron reports for Agriland.

Last year was the second warmest on record in Europe, and the drought conditions resulted in about two million tonnes less harvest than normal across northern Europe, the UK, and Ireland. This has caused a surge in potato prices, especially in the processing sector.

It is normally accepted that Irish and UK potato crops will reach full ground cover by the summer solstice – June 21. “In the vast majority of case, this target growth indicator will not be achieved in 2023. The end result will be a significant drop-off in yields come this year’s harvest,” says Angus Wilson, chairman of Wilson’s Country Potatoes.

Moreover, the excessive export of potatoes to other European countries has depleted the Irish and UK potato stocks to their lowest levels. Additionally, recent floods in Italy and southern Europe, and a cold, wet spring in Ireland have delayed planting activities, potentially causing a significant yield drop this year.

This crisis, further exacerbated by high input and storage costs, could stretch into 2024.

Source: Agriland. Read the full story here
Photo: Early potato crops looking good in Ireland. Credit Agriland

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