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Irish maincrop potato harvest: Significant variation in yields

Potato packer Wilson’s Country is confirming that approximately half of this year’s maincrop is now out of the ground. Still, growers throughout Ireland are reporting significant variations in yields.

Wilson’s agronomist Stuart Meredith: “The weather has remained good over weeks and ground conditions have held up tremendously well. In fact, the weather has been so good that growers have had a fair amount of difficulty getting crops burnt off. Crops just wanted to keep on growing.”

According to Meredith, crop yields are in the range 10t and 23t/ac: “Crops were affected by the dry spell back in July and yields are back accordingly. Disease pressure remained reasonably low throughout the growing season; it’s now a case of getting crops in store as quickly as possible.”

According to the Wilson’s Country representative, the warm and reasonably dry period through late August and early September provided some growers with an opportunity to achieve some more bulk.

“Crop yields to date have been very variable as a result of the drier than average summer. Yields on fields badly affected with drought stress are reported as low as 10t/ac, yields on heavier land that received irrigation have been as far as 23t/ac,” Meredith told agriland.ie.

“Where varieties are concerned, growers have confirmed that, for the most part, maincrop whites, such as Cultra, have been performing well,” he added. Maris Piper crops, however, produced high numbers of tubers, but didn’t fill them out to their full potential.

“As a consequence, piper yields could be described as being 2t to 3t/ac below average,” Meredith explained. Overall skin quality is slightly less than average due to common scab and netting. However, overall, eating quality could be described as better than average due to the higher dry matter content.”


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