Europe, UK, Ireland, Most viewed stories, Seed, Trends

Moderate seed potato crop in Western Europe results in historic high prices, lower acreage expected in 2024

Seed potato acreage is shrinking in the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Wouter Mutsaers, who buys and sells seed potatoes at Q-potato Holland, says in a report published by FreshPlaza that in the Netherlands this is the third consecutive decline. For the first time since 2014, that area is less than 40,000 hectares. That decrease makes ware potato cultivation challenging in the coming season. Also at play: increased disease pressure.

Wouter Mutsaers says with the means still available, controlling the growing disease pressure cropping up earlier in the season is increasingly difficult. That is one of the reasons many seed potatoes have been reduced or even rejected.

He adds that, besides the smaller acreage, poor tuber setting, large seed potatoes, and harvest problems due to heavy rain, have reduced starting material for the coming season.

“It’s been a generally dismal seed potato harvest, resulting in historically high prices. So, less acreage seems a strange market trend. Seed potatoes are very pricey, yet next season’s acreage will be lower. Normally, acreage grows when prices are good,” Mutsaers says.

He expects the disappointing seed potato harvest will lead to the increased processing of large sizes of these. It is too early to say if that will be enough. “That could partly solve the shortage, and growers can use ATR seed potatoes. But I dare not say how that will affect the ware potato acreage,” he admits.

Source: FreshPlaza. Read the full story here
Photo: Q-Potato Holland Team

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