Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, News June 2024, Weather/Climate

Scottish potato planting season hampered by weather challenges and seed shortages

In Scotland, the potato planting season has been marked by sporadic efforts as farmers seize every available moment to plant tubers amidst inconsistent weather conditions. Frequent rains have created start-stop planting scenarios, complicating efforts due to soaked soil beneath a dry surface, as John Sleigh reports for The Scottish Farmer.

Sleigh writes that most crops are now in the ground, though planting continues in the Black Isle. Approximately 75% of potatoes are planted in Moray and Aberdeenshire, 90% in Angus and Perthshire, and the Borders region is nearly complete. This late-season planting will extend the harvest period.

The season has been further complicated by a tight supply of seed potatoes, with some farmers resorting to using farm-saved seed despite the associated disease risks. Warmer weather has spurred growth, but low sunlight levels dampen hopes for a bumper crop, potentially impacting yields and seed maturity. Later-planted crops face stress, risking a wider range of tuber sizes and challenges for the seed sector.

Regular rain has created conditions conducive to blight and other diseases. An early detection of peach potato aphids and reports of blackleg disease have raised concerns.

Source: The Scottish Farmer. Read the full story here
Photo: Strathmore potato planting in full swing. Credit The Scottish Farmer

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