This year’s potato harvest has been disappointing with growers expecting a drop of around a third compared with recent years, according to a news report by Swissinfo.ch.
Yields are still difficult to estimate at the moment. The final figures will not be known until early December, Ruedi Fischer, President of the Swiss Potato Growers’ Association (USPPT), told press agency Keystone-SDA.
But it is already clear that there will be “above-average losses that we have never seen before”, he added, referring to an article in the German-language agricultural information service (LID). According to current forecasts, there could be a shortfall of 100,000 tonnes, particularly of potatoes for processed products such as chips. The situation is slightly better for table potatoes.
The reason for this drop is to be found mainly in the weather. Conditions were unfavourable in spring and too hot in summer. Pests are also to blame.
Swissinfo.ch reports that there is a shortage of about 100,000 tonnes of potatoes throughout Switzerland, and the Zweifel crisps factory in Spreitenbach is procuring more potatoes from abroad than in other years. According to the Aargauer-Zeitung paper, Zweifel has to import 15% to 18% of its potato requirements across the border.
Because of the drought, many potatoes remained small and did not reach the required minimum size. Now, an agreement has been reached with the chips industry that the potatoes supplied may be smaller than in other years.