In this week’s potato market report issued by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA), the potato market in Ireland is said to experience a surge in home consumption and retail sales, thanks to the prevailing weather conditions. As the bank holiday weekend approaches, the food service sector is also set to benefit from this uptick in demand.
However, it’s not all sunny skies for the potato industry. The same weather conditions that have boosted sales have also brought challenges. Harvesting activities have come to a standstill due to adverse weather. Fields across the region are grappling with widespread flooding, leading to waterlogged conditions. This has raised concerns about potential losses in the crop yield.
Across the Irish Sea, the U.K. hasn’t been spared either. The recent heavy downpours have halted potato liftings in the past few days. Particularly affected are the later planted, late maturing varieties like Markies. These are still in the fields, waiting to mature and set their skin. In the Fens, located in the East, only about 70% of the crop has been cleared.
From mainland Europe, the news is mixed. Belgium and France are reporting promising yields. In fact, French yields are shining bright, showing a 10.2% increase compared to the previous year. However, Holland’s yields are trailing behind Belgium’s. The Dutch crop has been plagued with quality issues, including mishaps, pink rot, and blight. Over in Germany, some storage facilities have already had to unload their stock due to “breakdown” issues.
In summary, while the Irish potato market is thriving in retail sales, challenges posed by the weather are casting shadows on harvesting activities both in Ireland and the U.K. Meanwhile, continental Europe presents a mixed bag of fortunes for potato growers.
Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Original report here
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