Potato farmers saw their crop yields drop over 30% in some cases this year, as the weather impacted planting and growing conditions. Figures from Teagasc and Bord Bia show that Rooster yields were down 31% on 2017, while Kerrs Pink yields were down 23%.
This year's potato harvest had the lowest yielding crops since 2012, according to Teagasc Potato Specialist Shay Phelan. Late planting, drought, secondary growths and exceptionally dry conditions at harvest have had an impact on crop yields and these are reflected in the Bord Bia yield digs, according to Shay.
Rooster yields were down on average to 13.42 tons per acre, from 19.48 tons per acre in 2017 for potatoes sized 50-80 mm. The lowest tonnage crops were in Dublin. According to Shay, irrigated crops performed better than those that received no irrigation. He also said the increase was greater in Kerr’s Pink than in Rooster.
However, the increase in yields between irrigated and non-irrigated were not as high as was expected, which may have been due to the number of applications or the availability of water not being sufficient to meet the demands of the crops.
As reported on independent.ie, the area of maincrop varieties planted in 2018 also fell from 7,987 hectares in 2017 to 7,325 ha this year.