Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, News April 2024, Studies/Reports, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Irish potato farmers struggle with planting delays amidst wet spring, export slowdown in Europe

Irish potato farmers are facing significant challenges as persistent wet weather continues to hamper planting efforts, according to a potato market report released today by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA). With planting windows shrinking and a considerable portion of the 2023 crop still unharvested, concerns are mounting over potential supply shortages and rising prices for consumers.

“Very little planting has taken place again this week due to the ongoing wet conditions,” the IFA report states. This delay in planting could have significant implications for the availability of Irish potatoes later in the year.

While the wet weather has hindered planting, it has also led to an increase in demand for potatoes. Colder temperatures have boosted home consumption and retail sales, putting further pressure on already tightening supplies. This scarcity has resulted in a premium for packing quality potatoes, potentially leading to price increases for consumers.

The situation is further exacerbated by the significant number of potatoes remaining unharvested from the previous season. The IFA report highlights that even if weather conditions improve and harvesting becomes possible, the marketable yield from these potatoes would be minimal at this stage.

Across Europe, fresh potato markets remain firm, but the report notes a slowdown in export enquiries over the past three weeks. Meanwhile, imports of new-crop potatoes from Israel and Egypt are increasing, potentially filling the gap in supply left by the challenges faced by Irish and other European producers.

The report also highlights similar challenges faced by potato farmers in the U.K., where planting has also been significantly delayed due to wet weather.

Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA). Original report here
Cover image: Credit fhampe from Pixabay

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