Teagasc has confirmed that Irish potato yields have declined year on year by approximately 10 to 15% in 2022. The area of main crop grown in 2022 came in at 7,400ha. There were a number of factors that came into play which heavily impacted on this year’s yields. The most important among these were the drought-like conditions that impacted in many areas and varying soil conditions. The availability, or lack, of irrigation facilities has also had a major impact on potato yields this year.
Shay Phelan, Teagasc potato specialist: “In some areas the fall-off in yield has been significantly greater than 15%. In these cases the combined impact of the dry weather, lighter soils and little or no access to irrigation systems have all come into play.”
According to Teagasc, average potato yields in 2021 came in at 47t/ha. The area of maincrop potatoes grown in 2022 which is 400ha down on last year’s recorded figure. Phelan: “Most potatoes lifted over recent weeks have been put on to the market directly. This has caused a noticeable drop in prices.”
Agriland.ie reports that he added that crops harvested from October onwards will be destined for storage and that this help to “settle markets.”
According to the Teagasc potato specialist growers are very conscious of the enhanced storage costs they are currently facing. Also, Irish potato production has decreased from 332,000 hectares in 1850 to just over 9,000 hectares.
Mixed yields did not affect growth of Irish crisp company
Although this year’s potato yields have been mixed and many potatoes coming out of the ground contain a high dry matter content, this it hasn’t stopped Irish crisp producer Keogh’s, from expanding. Tom Keogh, chief executive of Keogh’s Crisps said he thinks Irish potato farmers are doing well. “It has been a difficult season weatherwise, we had a very dry summer which obviously affected potato yields in a bad way. But in a European context, I think the Irish growers have gotten away a little bit lighter than some of the other countries on the continent and in the UK.”
The potatoes used in the production of Keogh’s Crisps are all grown on Keogh’s Farm near Donabate in Co. Dublin. The farm began harvesting in the last week of August and noted a varied harvest.