According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development, Castile and Leon have 17,331 hectares devoted to producing potatoes this season, i.e. more than 1,000 hectares less than the 18,372 hectares it had last year. This is the second consecutive year the area decreases, as the autonomous community had 19,164 hectares devoted to this crop in 2019.
"There has been a reduction because last year producers were unable to sell all of their production due to the pandemic," stated Eduardo Arroyo, president of the Association of Potato Producers of Castile and Leon (Appacyl). Producers decide how many hectares to plant in September and October. Last year, there was a lot of uncertainty and producers decided to reduce the area, he stated.
According to Arroyo, producers have planted a lot of early potatoes this year. "There's 15 to 20% more than there should be," he stated. "Sprouting has been good, except for some insignificant frost. At the moment, the crop has good health so producers expect to achieve a good production volume. There are good prospects for this season, we expect a good production volume and good output because the entire Horeca channel should be working by mid-August." "Naturally, things can change, but so far everything's fine," he said.
The first potatoes from Seville and Cartagena have already hit the market and the ones from Albacete and Madrid will enter the market in a little over a month. The reference price, right now, is 0.35 euro per kilogram. "It's not the price we would like, but if it remains at this level, we'll have some peace of mind in terms of prices and placements," he added.