European potato planting is just finishing up with less acres planted than last year, as was repeatedly advised by the industry, the North-western European Potato Growers (NEPG), says in a news release on May 10. Acreage is estimated to be three to five per cent down.
The reduced acreage marks the first drop in planting area since 2014. NEPG notes the area has increased acres every other year for the last two decades. NEPG has been advising growers since last growing season to reduce potato acreage.
European Potato Planting Late Start
The spring planting season has been colder and drier which pushed back the start of planting — most growers didn’t start planting till the third week of April. NEPG notes main crop planting happened fast but was still good despite the cold weather.
The free potato market has been rising, as processors are expecting a demand increase in the coming months, NEPG says.
“Growers are confident as the early crops will be later, while the main crops in the ground will come out later and the cold weather since the beginning of April has helped keep most stocks in good shape (not as much sprouting as feared at the end of the winter).”