UNIKA draws pleasing interim balance, despite the heat:

Below-average yields, high-quality grades

"The August 10 deadline traditionally marks the end of the early potato season. The German early potatoes of 2022 were of good quality. The high-quality grades are also continuing in the potatoes of the main harvest that is now joining the season," says Olaf Feuerborn, chairman of the board of the Union der Deutschen Kartoffelwirtschaft (UNIKA). "However, due to the prolonged heat and drought throughout Germany, we will be harvesting a slightly below-average crop this year," Feuerborn estimates.

For the most part, good planting conditions have prevailed this spring. In some areas, frost and snow were reported after planting, as well as isolated thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. In general, the stands emerged well and, after row closure, plants showed mostly decent tuber set.

Cost-intensive irrigation
After a cool spring in southern Germany, the weather in summer 2022 was predominantly dry and warm. Heat phases lasting several days led to pronounced ripening of the foliage, and even with cost-intensive irrigation, only little growth was observed in some areas due to the heat.

In the north and east, spring was generally cool, and precipitation was unevenly distributed. Summer remained too dry, resulting in drought damage in non-irrigated potato stands. In stands irrigated at high effort and cost, heat stress is making itself felt. In the west, yields were secured in irrigated areas, but potato plants are entering early maturity here as well.

Challenging grubbing conditions
"With these hot temperatures and drought, grubbing is a real challenge. In many areas, harvesting is not possible at all, as the tubers suffer from stress under these weather conditions and are very sensitive to damage," Feuerborn says. "For harvesting, that leaves only the morning and evening hours, and where possible, irrigation is done in advance."

Visit the UNIKA team at Potato Europe 2022: exhibition area Z, booth C15.

For more information:
Union der Deutschen Kartoffelwirtschaft e.V. (UNIKA)
Schumannstraße 5
D - 10117 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0) 30 / 657 993 - 84
Fax: +49 (0) 30 / 657 993 - 85
Mail: a.krause@unika-ev.de 
web: www.unika-ev.de  

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