The cold and wet weather of Spring 2016 caused delayed planting and therefore the late development of the early crop and main crop varieties, and while increased temperatures during the last week of May allowed the growth to catch up slightly, lower mid-June temperatures and heavy local rainfall did not support the desired development.
Despite this, the foliage of early varieties is good and with drier weather approaching, as well as some sunshine, the shift to the 2016 crop in the second half of July is still possible.
In May/June each year, the first estimates at the EU-5 acreage are published by the national statistic authorities. Based on today's available figures, the 2016 EU-5 acreage will increase by almost 4% compared to last year, with the biggest expansion in Belgium, at around +10%. When this 2016 estimated acreage is multiplied with the 10 year average EU-5 yield per ha, the total EU-5 production will be 500,000 tons more than last year's production.
With the knowledge that the processing capacity in the EU-5 is expanding significantly, the increased acreage is not likely to lead to overproduction - it's actually a necessary step to serve the growing global demand for potatoes.
Jan Willem Peters