The harvests should start in a month and producers in the Somme department are worried. This summer’s rainfall has favored the appearance of diseases on potatoes and beets.
Usually, the French region of Hauts-de-France produces nearly half of the 400,000 tons of beets harvested each year in France, but 2021 could be an exception. Additionally, because of the weather, the vegetable could also lack sugar.
“It is because of the humidity that there is so much pressure this year. We are forced to treat more. Last year, I carried out 5 treatments and this year, I had to do 3 times more. And we’re not even sure that we will get enough yield,” explains Pierre Bourgeois about the potato plants with mildew. The humidity is also affecting the beet crops attacked by cercosporiosis. “If we leave them untreated, the beets will lose their leaves and photosynthesis will be less efficient: there will be fewer beets and therefore less sugar.”
For the producer, the beet harvest which usually reaches 75 tons could be down by 10 to 15%. “All this water was great at the beginning but now, we have too many leaves and not enough roots. We are hoping for a nice month of September: if it is warm and sunny, the potential will be saved.”