Challenging year for Irish potato growers

As some potato growers were unable to get their maincrop harvested until directly before Christmas, there were considerably higher production costs incurred during 2020.

William Monagle from County Donegal: “Usually, we would be out of the fields at some stage during November; we normally start harvesting at the beginning of October. An extended harvest adds to growers’ costs. Adding to the challenges faced by producers is the fact that average yields were down by around 20% last year.”

There was a tremendous variation in output from field to field in 2020. Monagle also outlined the enhanced storage costs that are adding considerably to all growers’ costs at the current time.

“Potatoes must be maintained in refrigerated stores on farm. In our own case, we are supplying a packer in Dublin from November through to August,” he told

According to Monagle, growers are currently receiving an average of €300/t for ware potatoes at present. But that price will have to go up over the coming weeks. Growers’ costs have increased significantly over recent months and packers will have to recognise this fact.

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