Planted potato area in Europe has fallen for the first time in more than two decades, the North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG) says in a news release on July 12. Planted area dropped by 4.7 per cent to 497,700 hectares.
The largest decreases were recored in Belgium and the Netherlands. With planting done, attention is shifting to production potential, with hope for higher production per hectare, the release says.
“Be it the earlies or the maincrop, the list of unknowns is still considerable. Concerning the earlies, heavy rainfall the last weeks could impede a rapid enough build up of dry mater in the tubers. This could lead to some delays in the delivery of contracts,” the release notes.
Growers in all NEPG countries have noticed while there is a lot of leaves the tubers being produced are smaller than average. However, tuber counts seem higher than the average from the last three or four years, the report says.
“Should we get a heat wave and/or a drought, main crop varieties could be affected much more quickly than was the case the last years, because plants did not make a lot of roots.”
Growers in some countries have noticed as of late traders are buying potatoes at higher prices then the Belgapom weekly pricing charts.
Production costs for the 2021/22 season are already on the rise with costs for spraying, diesel, electricity and fertilizers all higher, the release notes.
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