European potato crop below average

According to the North-western European Potato Growers Foundation (NEPG), this year’s ware harvest for the group, which includes the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands, will be around 24.5 million tonnes.

The figure is 14.1 per cent below last year and 2.9 per cent less than the five year average figure. It is also below NPEG’s previous forecast in June. The prediction, which is based on national sampling, suggests average yields are lower at 46.5 t/ha compared to 52.1 t/ha last year. This, coupled with a 3.7 per cent fall in area to 527,110 hectares, has resulted in reduced production.

At a national level, overall yields in Belgium show the largest declines, while much of Germany, France and the Dutch polders appear to have near average yields. NPEG said that results of crop sampling were not available for the UK the 5-year average was used in the overview. For the first time, potato acreage in Great Britain has decreased below 100,000 hectares, a drop of 7.7% compared to last season and 10.5% below the 5-year average acreage.

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