Europe, UK, Ireland, Weather/Climate

Harvest havoc: Unyielding rains taking a toll on Belgian potato and vegetable growers

Heavy rainfall has been recorded in Belgium since last week. West Flanders in particular has been severely hit by the weather. The rain is also taking a toll on vegetable and potato growers, as EastFruit reports in this news story.

“Fortunately, we have already harvested all the potatoes, but in general, we estimate that 20 percent of the fields still need to be harvested. Many are in a hopeless situation,” said Jurgen Duthoo, of Warnez Potatoes.

Due to the rainfall, provincial governor of West Flanders Carl Decaluwé declared a general emergency and intervention plan for flooding on Thursday.

Many potato, leek and carrot growers will remain anxious for days, said Jurgen. “Many don’t even dare looking at the weather forecast anymore, because they are afraid of what may come next. This is also having an impact on the market. The supply is low. Many have problems, of course, and in the plots with availability, growers are considering whether it would not be better to wait. Some still have potatoes in the ground and don’t know if they will get all their volumes harvested. However, they have contract obligations, so the free lots may be used for contracts. Also, some growers are waiting to see whether prices will go up even more.”

While Warnez Potatoes is still coming off relatively well, grower Filip Rosseel at VRT describes the impact at his location. “What’s still in the ground now is not going to be good anymore. We recorded almost 200 liters of water per square meter,” he said. “It’s been really catastrophic. Some other colleagues had not yet harvested any potatoes and may have lost their entire crop,” said Rosseel.

Source: EastFruit. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit EastFruit

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