Belgium expects poor potato harvest following long period of drought

Belgian growers are bracing for an exceptionally poor potato harvest, as a severe drought and high temperatures have dilapidated fields. This July was the driest on record since 1885, when an average of only five millimetres of rainfall across the country. When harvest starts in mid-September, Wallonia expects a yield of between 35-40 gross tons per hectare. Typically, one hectare should yield 44.5 tons. A good yield would typically be 45 tons per hectare, an excellent one: 50 tons.

However, (the lack of) rainfall is not uniform across Belgium, and some potato growing regions in Belgium have received as much as 20 millimetres of rain.

This year, Belgian potatoes are suffering from the longest period of drought in recent history. Late growing potatoes have hunkered down, waiting for the return of the rain, Lebrun said. For those planted earlier, the harvest has already begun, and yields are just slightly under average.


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