This week, the potato campaign will start in the Spanish region of Castile-Leon. Eduardo Arroyo, president of the Association of Potato Producers of Castile-Leon (APPACYL), said that at the moment, prices are high; around 50 cents / kg, mostly due to a shortage of potatoes in the market. The potatoes from Seville and Cartagena have run out, and the markets are empty, awaiting the harvest of Castile-Leon and Albacete.
One of the peculiarities of the current campaign is that potatoes have been exported to France and other EU countries, given the shortages caused by last year's dry weather. This situation is unusual, because it is normally France the one exporting to the Spanish market.
According to Arroyo, the early potato production is good in terms of both volume and quality. The yields are better than initially expected, as the crop benefited from the cool temperatures that were registered before the heat wave. Average yields are expected to amount to around 45-50 tons per hectare. However, we will also have to wait and see how mid-season potatoes develop and how these were affected by the recent heat wave.
About half of the acreage devoted to potato cultivation in Castile-Leon is under contract, with prices amounting to around 16-20 cents / kg. The gradual entry of potatoes into the market, following the start of the harvest, will regulate the market.
This year, 19,000 hectares of potatoes have been cultivated in Castile-Leon. The production is expected to oscillate between 850,000 and 900,000 tons. Last year, 19,351 hectares were planted with a production of 851,800 tons.
APPACYL has 380 associates who cultivate 6,000 hectares.