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GB potato production up 15 per cent

The 2017 potato crop is estimated to be 15 per cent up on the year at over 6 million tonnes, according to AHDB - the highest level since 2011.

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This is due to an increase in the area planted as well as particularly high average yields across the country, according to Amber Cottingham, AHDB Potatoes analyst.

 

She says: “This season saw a 5 per cent increase in planted area to 122,779ha. This is consistent with past trends, as the two previous seasons saw relatively high prices.

 

“This year’s increased planted area was coupled with one of the highest average yields on record, estimated at 49.3t/ha. Conducive growing conditions lead to a bumper crop and an oversupply to the free-buy market, with the current ex-farm price over £100/t below the same point last year.

 

“Those who have examined the trends on the Potato Data Centre might predict that planted area will dip again in the next two years due to the low free-buy price.”

 

However some areas with a shortage of CIPC compliant stores have struggled with big potato crops.

 

Rob Clayton, strategy director of AHDB Potatoes says: “A large crop puts pressure on storage, and this was the case this year, with the new CIPC labels requiring best practice, including the use of active recirculation, to be followed. This pressure will reduce each week, as more potatoes leave stores to reach the market.”


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