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Potato crop news

Posted on 18/12/2012

The 2012 crop has been distinctly different from that of 2011 due to the completely different weather conditions. Last year there was a total of 30.5 million tonnes of potatoes in the 5 main European potato growing countries (UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France), more than enough to fulfil the market demand. However, this year the picture is different, with the total crop across these five countries amounting to just 27 million tonnes.

Last year, the weather during the planting season was very dry, leading to only 6-8 tubers per plant, which all grew into large potatoes delivering long fries. 

This year, there was no drought throughout the planting season, leading to more tubers per plant, with the average being around 12-14. Unfortunately the growing season this year has been relatively cold with little sunshine, leading to a lower yield per acre, consequently less tonnage, more small potatoes and therefore shorter fries. Particularly in Belgium and in the UK, the harvest has been more difficult because of the rain.

Whilst increasing the demand in The Netherlands, France and Belgium means that the average potato price per kg is 6 to 7 times more expensve than it was this time last year.
With this crop potatoes from all countries have a relatively high underwater weight and many potatoes have been harvested under wet and difficult circumstances resulting in a higher number of defects than other years, meaning more wastage when it comes to Aviko's strict quality control system.