Salamanca's potato harvest gained traction with the entry of the Hermes variety, destined for the processing industry for the production of chips, a variety that has gradually replaced the Agria variety thanks to its greater amount of dry matter and longer storage life.
The cooperative that requires this type of potatoes in the province is Floyma, based in Encinas de Abajo. It currently has fifty producers from Salamanca, Avila, and Valladolid. The cooperative plans to collect 22,000 tons of Hermes potatoes this year. So far, they have already stored nearly 4,000 tons and have sent some 1,500 tons to the industry. The end of the campaign will depend on the weather.
Parallel to the Hermes harvest, producers are also harvesting other varieties. Aranpino, the main potato cooperative in Salamanca, continues harvesting its crops and still hasn't stored half of the estimated production. This entity, which stores 30,000 to 40,000 tons each year, still doesn't know how much will be collected due to this year's lower production. Right now they are in the middle of harvest. They are finishing the harvest of the mid-season potatoes, such as Sylvana or Spunta, and will start harvesting the late Agria and Jelly varieties.
Red potatoes have achieved some of the best prices this year and currently cost around 0.15 euro per kilo. This week, farmers are being paid approximately 0.07 to 0.11 euro per kilo of white potatoes.
The Jaerla variety, which accounted for one-third of all potatoes in Salamanca in 2010, is practically not grown anymore. It was an early variety and producers took advantage of its early release to the market, but it was ousted by the versatility of the Agria variety.
The province of Salamanca, the second-biggest producer of potatoes in Castilla y Leon with 4,404 hectares this year, mainly grows varieties that can be sold for the hotel industry, and that has a natural exit to Portugal.