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Frost ravages vegetable sector

Severe and persistent frost over the past two weeks has had a catastrophic effect on the potato and vegetable sector, the IFA has claimed.

The severe weather is expected to wipe out between 40pc and 70pc of the potato crop that still remains in the ground, horticulture chairman Jimmy Kearns has claimed.

The estimates are based on similar situations that have occurred in past years. The frost has also had a serious effect on field vegetable crops such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower and celery.

"These losses, which will double the cost of production on most farms, cannot be sustained by growers who have already suffered financially this season," Mr Kearns said.

He called on supermarkets and wholesalers to respond by paying a viable price to producers if they are serious about the survival of the growing industry in Ireland.

Irish Independent