Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Fresh/ Table, News March 2024, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends, Weather/Climate

Potato planting in peril: Irish farmers face uncertain future amidst wet weather woes

In a concerning turn for the Irish potato industry, farmers across the nation are grappling with a pressing dilemma due to unrelenting rainfalls. The situation has left them in a state of uncertainty, as they question whether planting their crops this year is a feasible option, as Louise Walsh reports in a news story published on

Ivan Curran, a seasoned Meath farmer, is among those affected. With a history of yielding 11,000 tonnes of potatoes annually, Curran is now facing the worst rainfall in his four decades of farming. Approximately 40% of his produce, consisting predominantly of the Rooster variety, is destined for supermarket shelves, while the remaining 60% is supplied to the Tayto factory for crisps production.

However, the ongoing wet conditions have delayed the planting season, pushing farmers like Curran to the brink. He remarks, “It’s been borderline up to now on the start of the planting season but there is no sign of any solid spell of dry weather on the horizon.”

In Co Louth, Maria Flynn echoes similar concerns. Alongside her husband David, she grows Roosters and Kerr Pinks and is known for supplying unique heirloom varieties to restaurants. The absence of the typical east winds of March, which aid in drying the soil, has compounded their challenges.

Farmers like Curran and Flynn are now in a wait-and-see mode, hoping for a break in the weather to commence their critical planting activities. The coming weeks are crucial, determining not just the fate of this year’s crop but also impacting the availability and variety of potatoes in Irish markets.

Source: Read the full story here
Photo: Potato farmer Ivan Curran said last year was the worst year for rain he has seen in his 40 years in agriculture. Photo credit Louise Walsh via

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