Retail demand and consumer consumption of potatoes has plateaued this week. Growers continue to harvest crops where fit. Bruising is still a big concern as a result of harvester damage and some dry rot is also developing. Recent rain has made ground conditions a bit stickier which will aid harvesting. However, dry matter levels in tubers are still high so caution is required.
There are continued reports that yields are average at best, but quality is very good. There is a lot of concern around the cost of production already foregone for the year’s crop and subsequent storage costs. Growers must be compensated for these additional costs with an additional margin passed directly to growers immediately.
This Friday marks National Potato Day. The theme of this year’s event will be centred around highlighting to consumers the value for money that potatoes offer to feed a family. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, consumers should see the value for money in potatoes as a staple meal.
Harvest progress has been very good in all areas of Britain, with many growers in the south and the southeast now 50% to 75% cleared. Some maincrop growers are already finished. Growers in the east are still applying 25mm of irrigation to avoid bruising. Yields are reported to be substantially reduced on last year. In Scotland, only 10% of maincrop has been lifted for storage.
Across Europe, although some parts are still dry, 25 to 50mm of rain has improved lifting conditions and in France total clearance is estimated at 50%.