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GB 2018 potato plantings third lowest on record

AHDB estimates the total area in Great Britain planted with potatoes is 119,000 hectares, a fall of three per cent on the year.


Abby   Kellett

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Abby   Kellett
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This would represent the third-lowest planted area on record. The news comes in a challenging season for potato growers, with prolonged drought likely to affect yields.

 

The ultimate size of the potato crop, and how the market firms in response, will not be known until harvest. At five year average yields, the estimation would equate to a total potato harvest of 5.7 million tonnes (Mt).

 

AHDB’s sector strategy director for potatoes, Dr Rob Clayton says: “The season started with sub-zero temperatures brought by ‘the beast from the East’, followed by a wet spring that delayed planting. Since then, we have seen one of the driest combined June and July periods on record, so most growers are reporting that yields will be down.

 

“Farmers have been working round the clock to minimise this, with teams working overnight so that any water used does not evaporate in the hot sun. There is still some growing season to go, so it is impossible to accurately predict how far down they will be.”

 

Potential size of the British potato crop

 

If 2018 yield is equal to:

Yield t/ha

Production (Mt)

Year-on-year change

Five year average

47.4

5.7

-6%

Five year average - 1%

46.9

5.6

-7%

Five year average - 5%

45.0

5.4

-11%

Five year average - 10%

42.7

5.1

-16%

Source: AHDB

 

The table above provides examples of the potential size of the British crop, based on a reduction from the five-year average yield. For example a yield reduction of 10 per cent, added to the predicted three per cent fall in planted area would see a total crop of 5.1 Mt, down 16 per cent. If the agricultural drought persists, then yields could be lower still, according to AHDB.

 

Growers can find further information and resources at ahdb.org.uk/drought


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