Market observers are calling the current potato harvest yield 'historically small'. As the Landvolk press service reports, the total German harvest is put at 8.7 million tons, compared with the harvest that was 3 million tons higher ore in the previous year. Lower Saxony is delivering almost half of the harvest, as it contains almost half of the German potato acreage of 250,000 ha. According to data from the Lower Saxony State Statistics Office,n with just over four million tons the total harvest is about a quarter less than last year with a total yield in the amount of almost 5.5 million tons.
At just under 54 million tonnes, the potato harvest volumes were significantly lower than in the previous year across the EU as well. In 2017, market observers put the production at 64.6 million tons. The reason for the lower yields are weather-related losses due to the dry and hot summer. The acreage in the EU -with 1.76 million hectares- was only 40,000 ha below last year's number.
EU potato production is concentrated in north-western Europe, where it is cost and production-friendly. However, there are currently losses, caused by the drought. Not just in Germany, but also in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium, harvests are falling well short of last year's results. This is confirmed by the -still provisional- data from those countries or by data from Eurostat. Only France seems to have gotten off lightly, and especially where irrigation could secure better yields.
With high irrigation costs, Lower Saxony's farmers in the north-east of the country could also aid their potato yields somewhat over the summer. However, they are worried about the shelf life of the tubers, as they were very warm at harvest time. The potatoes could only be stored after cooling. A higher demand for potatoes is first and foremost coming from the potato processing industry; household consumption has declined steadily in recent years.
Source: LPD 86/2018