Harvest 84% complete

UK: Free market potato price three times that of last year

According to the Potato Council 5,500ha of potatoes has been lifted in the UK this week taking the total to over 102,000 on 9th November. This is 84% of the total crop.

More growers managed to complete lifting or are very near to finishing after last week, although there are some quite large areas still to be cleared which growers are attempting to lift at every possible opportunity. Some growers were having to leave wet patches in fields. Generally yields are reported to be down compared with last year. In the East there was a cold and frosty start to the week in the North of the region, while the weather was wet further South. Any lifting was under very difficult conditions. In the West lifting increased in Lancashire although some land was still difficult to work. Conditions varied in the Midlands, but most crops had been cleared. Land is still extremely wet in many parts of Herefordshire with some growers struggling to finalise lifting. Yield estimates for the area are unchanged in a general range of 32-50t/ha.

In the South lifting continues although the weather often interrupted activity and there were some growers with considerable areas still to clear. In Scotland although there were some sunny days, rain fell and there was some overnight frosts in parts. Conditions were the wettest in Aberdeenshire and in the Borders. Current yields are reported to be down 15-20% compared with last year.

On average weekly price up to 9 November was £202.75/t (€254.31/t) the same week in 2011 was £104.07t, trend is for prices to continue to rise. The free market average for the same period £274.07/t (€343.77/t) this is three times more than the same week last year when it was £88.91/t the trend here is also on the up.

Source: Potato Council

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