About 10 percent of the potatoes in Belgium still need to be grubbed. "We are very late this year. Fortunately, this has caused very few issues with quality," says Filip Deconinck of Deconinck Fourages. “If the potatoes are still in the ground in November, we are usually concerned about frost. This year, we have, however, had minimal problems with frost up to now."
“Industry contract prices are very average. These prices are about 20% above the growers' production prices. That is quite good. Whether the last 10% of the potatoes are grubbed up or not, will add or reduce the price by another 5%. We will have to wait and see if this happens," continues Filip.
“We only work for the industry. However, we have heard from co-growers that quite a lot of potatoes are already going to Eastern Europe. The countries in that region are also having some problems with harvesting. They need potatoes."
A part of the crop is still in the ground. Despite this, Deconinck is satisfied with the potatoes' quality, sizes, and yields so far. "This summer was very dry. The yields are not huge. We are still at four to five percent below the five-year average."
"Nevertheless, the current situation is considerably brighter than it was last year. The quality is good. We, therefore, expect very few problems with storage. Yields are also pretty good. So, we are optimistic about the coming season," concludes Filip.