Experts claim that changing weather patterns are hurting potato growth in Northern Ireland. Long periods of dry weather at present could affect crop yields later in the summer. A dry February allowed farmers to plant their early crops and rainfall that arrived later in the year has enabled farmers to lift their early harvest.
As dry weather is set to continue, the main crop is likely to be delayed. That will have implications for the consumer and food businesses, according to Angus Wilson of potato producers Wilson's Country.
"The market has skyrocketed because there's not enough potatoes over the next two or three months," he said. He is in no doubt that climate change is playing a part. "The weather seems to come in blocks now - it's dry for a longer period, then it's wet for a longer period. Sunshine and showers are perfect for growing potatoes, and that's not how we're getting our weather these days."