North German potato harvest in danger because of rainfall

Germany: Despite the weather a good potato harvest is expected

The German Farmers' Association (DBV) published a worrying article this week. The rainfall in the previous weeks will have a very negative effect on the potato harvest in the North of Germany. It is nearly impossible to enter the potato fields due to excessive water which makes the harvest and storing difficult. The potato farmers and distributors are nonetheless counting on a good potato harvest. "I simply do not have anything negative to say about it."

It is the biggest fear of the entire potato industry: ongoing rainfall and the flooding of the potato fields. According to the DBV however, it is difficult to grub up the ripe crops. That could be an enormous problem for the yield of the Northern potato farmers.

Niedersachen has a total area of 45 percent of the German potato cultivation which makes it the most important potato region in the country.

"Accordingly, this German state has been affected the most by the weather," according to Anni Neu, spokesperson of the DBV. "Many fields are completely wet and that is why they can not be grubbed up. Potatoes must be nearly dry before they can be stored. The cooling and airing of wet potatoes is very difficult."

Elsewhere in the north there are no worries either. "We can still harvest because the fields are actually dry. The potatoes are very good for the standards of our region," according to the managing director of the potato company Agp Lübesse. They do not want to come forward with a general statement yet. "At the end of October, we will be able to say whether this was a good harvest year."

The employees of the Prignitzer Potato & Fruit Company agree with this and are pleased with the current harvests. "The harvest year for potatoes is almost over. Only the stronger varieties are yet to be grubbed up," says an employee about the current situation.

Good harvest year
So far, 2017 has been a good harvest year for German farmers, especially in Niedersachsen. In this North-Western state, the best harvest was achieved with 485.000 tons per hectare. The national average so far was 454,000 tonnes per hectare, which was almost 10.000 tonnes or 2.2 percent more compared to last year.

According to data from the DBV, the food retail and processing industry will be pleased with the good quality and the opportunity to buy and offer German products. In other potato cultivation areas such as France, the Benelux and Great Britain, better harvest results than in the previous two years are expected as well.

Source: DBV

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