Ireland: Weather affecting yields - potato prices to rise

Irish consumers will face rising potato prices as the weather causes havoc with this year’s crop. A combination of the snow and blizzard-like conditions in February and March, the ongoing heatwave and a lack of rain will seriously affect crop yields. Eddie Doyle, of the potato committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), told the Irish Independent that potatoes had to be planted late this year. “Early growers have suffered because of the cold weather. And once it gets to 24o-25oC, they stop growing,” he said.

While the location of a farm influences when a potato crop will be sown, many farmers tend to do it around early March. However, the country was covered in snow at that time, this year.

“Yields will be quite light this year. I’d be fairly sure they’ll go up in price,” said Doyle. Dublin farmer David Rodgers, who has been in business in Ballyboughal for 30 years, said it was the worst conditions he had ever seen. For him a crop would usually yield around 20 tonnes of potatoes, of which around 16 tonnes would be saleable. “We would have had dry summers, Mays and Junes before, but there would have been some rain. I’ll be lucky this year if it’s six or seven tonnes.”

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