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AHDB estimates show small drop in potato planted area

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

The UK planted area for potatoes has held up despite a turbulent season for growers, says AHDB. Provisional estimates show the planted area in Great Britain at 119Kha, only a 1% drop on last year.

The figures suggest a minimal impact from the coronavirus crisis on planting decisions, as many growers had already made plans by the time the pandemic hit.

Although it is early days, the 2020/21 UK potato crop could be 5.4Mt if the average yield is 45 tonnes per hectare (t/ha). Lower yields are anticipated on the early crops due to frosts in mid-May but yields on main crop potatoes are looking relatively robust.

The 45t/ha estimate would mean a rise in production compared to last year, despite a drop in the planted area.

AHDB Analyst Alice Bailey said: “Despite the wet weather hampering early planting, conditions changed dramatically when it came to the main crop. For some growers the conditions bordered on too dry.

“When comparing these projected production figures with last year, it’s important to remember that some of the 2019 crop couldn’t be harvested. Our current estimate of 5.4Mt assumes that the entire planted area for this season can be lifted out the ground.”

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