In Belgium, about 70% of potatoes still have to be grubbed. That country experienced a long dry period followed by a very wet one. So, farmers couldn't start harvesting. "The weather for the coming days looks good. The potato growers are going to be very busy in the coming week," says Bart Nemegheer of De Aardappelhoeve. "The longer we wait, the more difficult it'll become. Especially now that morning temperatures are around 5 to 6°C."
“Yields are very average. I expect that once everything's been dug up, supply and demand will be in balance. Prices are currently rebounding too. Still, it remains to be seen how the coronavirus will develop. The virus could disrupt the market for a second time. That could adversely affect exports. However, we hope everything goes well. And if things go wrong, we hope everyone will intervene in time."
Sweet potatoes will also be grubbed soon. "We have slightly lower yields this year. That's because we had some cold days in July. That's a crucial month. August partially made up for that. But the days are already a lot shorter than in August. That's why the sweet potatoes are a little smaller than last year. We're, however, very satisfied with the quality. For now, it's vital to bring everything inside. Then we can see how things look," Bart concludes.