The announcement of six weeks of strict lockdown measures again wreaks havoc on the Irish food service sector. Liftings of main crop continue around the country. It is estimated that lifting progress is around 50%. Some growers are well through but others still have a lot to do. Some regions of Donegal are finding it very difficult as soil moisture levels are very high with more rain forecast. Initial yield dig figures estimate that yields are back 15% in parts of the country.
As weather turned drier across the UK, lifting in many areas has resumed this week in a race to beat any early frost. Markets remain largely depressed and more and more potatoes are being lifted straight into storage. The AHDB has announced that the area planted in 2020 (at 117,470 ha’s) is 2.3% lower than the 118.950ha’s last year. The reduction in area is most notable in the Midlands and the North West.
In Europe rain has again restricted lifting this week but progress is improving on lighter soils and the forecast is now for a more settled period. Physical markets remain broadly unchanged with excess to contract being used for livestock and energy production.