'It's a perfect storm', says the king of spuds
In June 2012 Ned English lost acres of potatoes to flooding, now drought is cutting in to his yields
Back in June in 2012, Ned English, the mammoth potato grower, lost four acres of his crop due to flooding - fast forward six years and the present drought has scorched fields, and he is now "praying for rain".
Mr English planted 450 acres of potatoes and 50 acres of onions this year and he told The Corkman this week that he is "fortunate" that he can irrigate 200 acres of his potato crop.
"Even the irrigation is a round the clock job as we are pumping water from the rivers. There is also the extra cost as we are burning diesel at a phenomenal rate to do this, but there's 60% of our crop that we just can't get at. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime," he said.
"The fields are burning up and nationwide only 10% of potatoes can be irrigated. This is not just a problem in Ireland but it's also across the UK and Europe.
"Consumers will also suffer as there isn't any growth and that means that the price of potatoes, carrots, broccoli and all peeled vegetables will be more expensive."
Mr English, along with is son Edward and daughter Niamh, operate the highly successful Castlecor Potatoes and are Lidl's number one producer for potatoes in the country.
Over the last number of years they have spent €3 million developing their highly successful family run business.
Their harvesters have 15 cameras on board which can watch the flow of potatoes when they are lifted from the ground and passed over the rotating cleaners. Their many tractors navigate using GPS technology during the planting process.