Potato prices to rise as weather affects yields
Consumers face increasing potato prices as the weather causes havoc with this year’s crop.
A combination of the snow and blizzard conditions in February and March, the ongoing heatwave, and a dearth of rain will seriously affect crop yields, according to farmers.
Eddie Doyle, of the potato committee of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), told the Irish Independent that potatoes had to be planted late this year.
“Early growers have suffered because of the cold weather. And once it gets 24C to 25C, they stop growing,” he said.
While the location of a farm influences when a potato crop will be sown, many farmers tend to do it around early March – when the country was covered in snow this year.
“Yield will be quite light this year. I’d be fairly sure they’ll go up in price,” he said.
Dublin farmer David Rodgers, who has been in business in Ballyboughal for 30 years, said it was the worst conditions he had ever seen.
“We would have had dry summers, Mays and Junes before, but there would have been some rain,” he said.
For him a crop would usually yield around 20 tonnes of potatoes, of which around 16 tonnes would be saleable.
“I’ll be lucky this year if it’s six or seven tonnes,” he said.
Mr Rogers said while he planted his cop two weeks late because of the cold spell, it was the lack of rain that was causing the real problem.
“It didn’t go in terribly late but it’s the lack of moisture since we sowed the crop that’s a problem,” he added.