Rain sought by potato growers to bulk crop
Published 24/08/2010 | 05:00
Potato growers are fervently hoping for some rain to bulk up the main harvest.
Excellent sowing and early growth rates had led to high expectations for the main harvest, but the dry weather of recent weeks has meant the crop is slow to bulk up.
However, excessive rain is not wanted, as this could cause further problems, such as secondary growth.
IFA potato chairman Thomas Carpenter said the crop still had the potential to recover, but admitted that growth had slowed during the past month.
Drought conditions on the Continent and in eastern England have affected crop yields severely and driven up prices.
There have been some reports of potatoes in the Ukraine being partially baked in the ground, as temperatures soar past 40C.
British prices are running between 30pc and 100pc ahead of the same period in 2009.
Here at home, potato quality is understood to be excellent, with dry-matter content and cooking quality favourable.