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Weather woes and seed quality impact early summer potato crops across Ireland and Europe

The latest weekly market report from the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) paints a mixed picture for the potato industry as Ireland enters the holiday season. Despite challenging weather conditions and concerns over crop quality, potato consumption remains strong, with increased demand from the peeling market.

As families prepare for summer gatherings, the demand for potatoes has surged, particularly within the peeling market. This trend is expected to continue as the holiday season progresses, bringing optimism to farmers and market suppliers alike.

Completion of Plantings After Unsettled Weather

Following a period of unsettled weather, Irish farmers have finally completed their plantings. The adverse conditions posed significant challenges, but the perseverance of the farming community has ensured that the planting season has concluded successfully. However, the weather’s impact has not been entirely positive, with some reports indicating uneven crop development. Issues with seed quality and the weather have contributed to these irregularities.

New Season Material Slowly Emerging

The market is beginning to see new season potatoes, though volumes remain low. The arrival of these fresh crops is eagerly anticipated, but the uneven development has raised concerns among farmers and market analysts.

European Plantings and Weather Challenges

Across Europe, the situation mirrors Ireland’s challenges. Plantings are now mostly complete, with Belgium and Southern Holland experiencing significant rainfall, recording over 25mm in the past ten days. While early plantings generally appear healthy, agronomists are reporting persistent issues stemming from the extended planting season and the use of both “exhausted” and cut seed.

Agronomic Concerns: Variable Emergence and Seed Rot

The extended planting season has led to variable emergence rates and instances of seed rot, highlighting the need for vigilant agronomic practices. The use of “exhausted” and cut seed has exacerbated these problems, stressing the importance of quality seed selection and optimal planting conditions.

Source: Irish Farmers Association (IFA)
Image: Credit Надежда Мельникова from Pixabay

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