Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Most viewed stories, News May 2024, Studies/Reports, Trade/Markets/Prices, Weather/Climate

Weather challenges persist: European and Irish potato farmers struggle with planting delays as demand stays high

The latest potato market report from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) highlights the ongoing challenges faced by farmers across the country due to unpredictable weather patterns. Heavy rainfall has resulted in a ‘stop start’ approach to plantings, significantly impeding progress and contributing to what is anticipated to be an extremely late year for potato harvesting.

Despite these challenges, the report indicates that retail demand and home consumption of potatoes remain robust. This sustained demand is putting increased pressure on old season stocks, as buyers actively seek out the remaining supplies to cover the current season.

“Plantings continue around the country, albeit with frequent interruptions due to adverse weather conditions,” the IFA report states. “Buyers are keen to secure remaining stocks, which has led to stronger physical prices as we approach the end of the season.”

The situation is not isolated to Ireland. Across most European countries, plantings are well advanced; however, the Netherlands has also been significantly impacted by heavy rainfall, causing further delays. In the United Kingdom, similar planting activities continue despite weather disruptions.

The report underscores the resilience of the potato market amidst these challenges. The buoyant retail demand reflects the staple role of potatoes in the consumer diet, even as supply chain pressures mount. This scenario has led to a notable firming of physical prices as buyers maneuver to ensure adequate coverage through the season’s end.

Potato farmers across Europe are doing their best to adjust to these conditions, employing various strategies to mitigate the impact of weather on their planting schedules. In Ireland, the IFA continues to monitor the situation closely, offering support and guidance to its members as they navigate these challenging circumstances.

Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA)

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