Potato acreage in northwestern Europe increased around 0.5 per cent this year compared to last, a July 7 news release from the North-Western European Potato Growers (NEPG) says.
“Under the actual circumstances, this is considered as too much, however, the COVID-19 situation arrived at the moment that growers already ordered their seed potatoes and rented potato land, too late for an area reduction,” the release says.
Increases mostly happened in Germany and France where processing potatoes were able to be transferred over the fresh market. Meanwhile Great Britain stuck to it’s five-year average for potato acres.
“The NEPG stresses that it is always the yield and not the area that makes the volume of the upcoming harvest and it is still too early to estimate these yields. The dry conditions at the start of the crop cycle may well have already limited the potential available.”
The first part of the growing season has been dry across north western Europe with yields of early harvested potatoes in Germany lower than usual.
There is still concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the potato market long term, the release notes. It is expected growers will have to store potatoes longer, however CIPC is now banned in Europe making storage harder.
NEPG expects to have a first crop estimation in early September.