The demand for potatoes in Ireland remains consistent, with expectations of a surge in consumption due to the onset of colder weather, according the Irish Farmers Association’s (IFA) weekly potato market report. However, farmers across the country are grappling with one of the toughest harvest seasons in recent memory.
Current conditions have made harvesting particularly challenging. Many fields are showing signs of waterlogging, bacterial soft rots, and deep tramlines. Additionally, an unusual amount of cracking has been observed in the crops.
On the European front, potato market prices have stabilized this week. Spain and Italy are showing interest in imports, but potential buyers are holding off, anticipating more stable prices and increased supply. Preliminary tests indicate that the growth rates of the crops are decelerating, with yields hovering around or slightly below the average mark. The Canary Islands are facing a shortage, with buyers eagerly awaiting fresh stock.
Exporters remain on the fence, awaiting clarity on upcoming regulations concerning labelling and soil adhesion. Meanwhile, in the U.K., the potato harvest is lagging, with reports suggesting a delay of at least two weeks.
The situation underscores the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, even as consumer demand remains robust.
Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA)